Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Through Their Eyes: Understanding Factors Critical to the Academic Success of African-American Males
by Huggins, Elissa, Ed.D., Northcentral University, 2015, 165; 3684589
Abstract (Summary)

African-American males lag behind their counterparts from all other racial groups in most measures of academic success, including being the least likely group to graduate high school with a diploma. As a result of their academic shortcomings, African-American males find themselves at an increased risk for unemployment and poverty, and have become the most represented racial group in the United States prison system. In an effort to combat these data, there are African-American males who are determined to reverse this trend. As such, the problem investigated in this study was that those African-American males who are determined to reverse this trend, as well as their support networks, have not been able to effectively identify and disseminate those factors which contribute to and deter from their academic success. The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to identify those factors that contribute to and deter from the academic success of African-American males. For this study, factors both inside and outside educational settings were studied because both settings are imperative to the academic success of African-American males. Purposeful sampling was utilized to select 10 African-American men who had obtained either a high school diploma or its equivalent, and who were currently being educated in a post-secondary institution in the southeastern United States. Data sources included a qualitative questionnaire, interviews, and observational field notes. Ten interview questions were developed to explore the four research questions for this study. For research question one, the following three themes emerged as factors, within the educational setting, which contribute to African-American males achieving academic success: (a) sports, (b) teachers, and (c) smaller settings. For research question two, the following three themes emerged as factors, within the educational setting, which deter African-American males from achieving academic success: (a) academic struggles, (b) poorly funded schools, and (c) bullying. For research question three, six themes emerged as factors, outside the educational setting, which contribute to African-American males achieving academic success: (a) mother, (b) self, (c) other family members, (d) friends, (e) negative neighborhoods, and (f) religious beliefs. For research question four, two themes emerged as factors, outside the educational setting, which deter African-American males from achieving academic success: (a) fractured family unit and (b) disadvantaged neighborhoods. The results from this study indicate the importance of school connectedness for the academic achievement of African-American males. Specifically, meaningful relationships with teachers and the involvement in extracurricular activities were shown to increase academic achievement in this study. The importance of the African-American family unit was also indicated along with the imperativeness of the successful collaboration between both home and school environments. Additionally, self-efficacy was shown to be paramount for the academic success of African-American males. The results of this study revealed that those participants who possessed a high self-concept were shown to have a positive correlation to academic success.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rosenberger, Joshua
Commitee: Poole, Sherilyn
School: Northcentral University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 76/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: African American Studies, Education Policy, School administration, Gender studies
Keywords: Academic success, African-american, Male, Prison
Publication Number: 3684589
ISBN: 978-1-321-59807-0
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