Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Coastal Resilience

Committee Chair

J.J. St. Marie

Committee Chair School

Coastal Resilience

Committee Member 2

Paul Kingery

Committee Member 3

David Holt

Committee Member 3 School

Coastal Resilience

Committee Member 4

Robert Pauly

Committee Member 4 School

Coastal Resilience

Committee Member 5

Thomas Landsford

Committee Member 5 School

Coastal Resilience


This research examined the quality of life and the religious leadership reliance of the Sinjari Yezidis based on their migration patterns. The study employed a mixed-method research design, exploring a Yezidi case study and discriminant analysis on 2022 survey data from Sinjari Yezidis who fled the ISIS genocide by initially moving to a single village in northern Iraq between 2014-2015. The study hypothesized migration patterns played a role in the quality of life and religious leadership reliance outcomes between 2015 and 2022.

This study showed no difference in the quality of life outcomes between Yezidis who stayed in their displacement village and those who returned to their home region in Sinjar. However, Yezidis who migrated from the displacement village to IDP camps were worse off than those who remained in the village or returned to Sinjar. Yezidis reported being worse off across all quality-of-life categories except the feeling of safety than in 2015, no matter their migration pattern. Yezidis were less reliant on their religious leadership overall than in 2015. There were no differences in religious reliance based on migration status. Yezidis relied more on leaders enforcing traditional values than those advocating progressive stances.

The study concluded that the international community and individual states need to enforce their already enacted policies related to the 2014 Yezidi genocide. The community is worseoff today but aid flows are decreasing, and international commitments are breaking.

Available for download on Monday, May 05, 2025