Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Neil Katz

Second Advisor

Dustin Berna

Third Advisor

Jason Campbell


Cognitive responses to identity crisis can influence inner harmony, behavior, and decision making while negatively affecting interpersonal relationships. The emotions associated with identity crisis establish the conditions that lead to various forms of conflict. Identity-related conflicts are often intractable and characterized by high levels of stalemates, counterproductive responses, posturing, or one-sided resolution expectations. Furthermore, the onset of dual conflicts brought about by competing internal and external demands has a deleterious impact on conflict strategies and resolution attempts. The purpose of this study was to explored the relationship between the pursuit of the ideal self and intrapersonal conflict as a means to further the understanding of the role identity in conflict. The researcher utilized a mixed-method approach to determine associations between variables. During the quantitative phase of the study, a Pearson’s bivariate correlation was used to establish statistical significance. Research results reveal a strong significant negative correlation between the pursuit of the Ideal Self. A Transcendental Phenomenological inquiry was conducted to explore the essence of the participant’s experience. Participants described the phenomenon as an unachievable, continuous, and emotional maturation process that fosters reflection, restraint, and inner peace. Additionally, the qualitative phase of the study revealed a connection between the pursuit of the ideal-self and an individual’s conflict management style.