Date of Award

12-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Christopher Griffin

Second Supervisor

Janice Kelly

Abstract

This qualitative study focused on how nonresident African American fathers maintain their role as fathers while dealing with the stereotypes, myths, and ambiguities associated with nonresident fatherhood. In addition, this study explored some of the cultural challenges specific to the experience of the nonresident African American father. The qualitative inquiry research explored the nonresident African American father’s experience through interviews with 13 nonresident African American fathers to gain insight about their perspectives on being a nonresident African American father. For this study, six open-ended questions were selected from the research literature. The aim of this study was to fill a void by offering to the academic community, a fresh perspective on the experience of African American fatherhood. Qualitative analysis of interview data yielded a core theme, which became the grounded theory that emerged from the research. The theory is that nonresident African American fathers experience a sense of powerlessness with regards to fatherhood, particularly in regards to negative stereotypes of African American fathers, their own experiences of being sons of African American fathers, the challenges of financially supporting their children, their ability to evaluate their efficacy as fathers, and their disproportionate need for affirmation. The researcher recommends that continuing efforts be made to conduct similar studies on a much larger scale.

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