The purpose of this qualitative research was to explore how self-identified academically successful students perceived their nonresident African American fathers’ involvement in their education and to determine ways to encourage paternal participation in schools. Joyce Epstein’s Six Types of Parental Involvement Typology was used as assess how the nonresident African American fathers were involved in their children’s education. The research design used for this study was a basic interpretive qualitative approach. Participants in this study were students who attend or have previously graduated from a four-year university or college. There were 25 participants in the study. The students were 18–23 years of age. The data collection method for the study was in the form of a 60-minute in-depth interview with each participant. Semistructured interview questions were used to collect information for the study.
Data obtained from the interviews revealed eight themes: (a) encouragement, (b) breaking the cycle, (c) sports, (d) help with schoolwork, (e) offering advice, (f) financial assistance, (g) phone calls, and (h) helping others with similar struggles. The participants revealed that their fathers were not involved directly in their schools, as measured according to Epstein’s six types of parent involvement, but rather the fathers were involved in indirect ways in accordance to Dewey’s view on education.
Two of the themes were more participant based: (a) the need to break the cycle of paternal absence, so that their children would not grow up without knowing their fathers; and (b) the desire to be of some support and to offer assistance to others going through the same struggle of not having their fathers in their lives.
The findings revealed that the involvement of the nonresident African American fathers in this study did not conform to Epstein’s parental involvement model, but rather their involvement was indirectly involved in their children’s education. Physical absence of the father does not mean that he is not important, but rather that various factors may hinder his involvement with his children. Schools should make a conscious effort to foster relationships between fathers and their children. Nonresident African American fathers can make a difference.
|Advisor:||Linkous, Kelly Sherrill|
|Commitee:||Bell, Gregory, Minus, Eric|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|Department:||Educational Administration & Policy Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||African American Studies, Black studies, Higher Education Administration, Education Policy, Educational administration, Individual & family studies|
|Keywords:||Academic success, African American fathers, Nonresident|
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