Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Criminal Justice


Lila Kazemian

Subject Categories

Criminology | Criminology and Criminal Justice


Cross-national Research; Lethal Violence; Multilevel Analysis


Lethal violence is a global problem. In 2012, the United Nations documented 437,000 homicides worldwide (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2014b), and in 2012, the World Health Organization reported that there were 800,000 suicides internationally (World Health Organization, 2015c). There is a large body of research on violence in the social sciences. Although suicide and homicide are often studied separately, they have been said to share many of the same correlates, such as inequality and divorce (e.g., inequality and divorce; Nivette, 2011; Stack, 2000). There is a need to integrate theories drawn from different disciplines to better understand macro- and micro-level predictors of homicide and suicide. Drawing on data from multiple sources, the current research aims to test some of the postulates of the frustration-aggression hypothesis, strain theory, and the stream analogy model. This dissertation utilizes a quantitative approach to investigate the effects of objective and situational strains, and potential mediating effects of micro-level negative affect (e.g., frustration) on cross-national homicide and suicide rates, while controlling for macro-level predictors (e.g., population, culture and social control indicators). It is hypothesized that macro and micro-level indicators of social support moderate the relationship between strain, frustration, and violence, potentially acting as buffers against violence. Ultimately, this dissertation seeks to investigate whether homicide and suicide are different manifestations of frustration, but emerging from the same underlying source.