Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering
Few empirical studies address the lived experience of single African American fathers. Research has been conducted on African American fathers with respect to their lack of presence in the lives of their children, the negative effects to children due to their absence, lack of provision for their children, and child support issues (Bronte-Tinkew, Scott, & Lilia, 2010; Coles, 2009a; Gursimsek, 2003; Krampe & Newton, 2006). However, there is little in the literature about African American fathers who choose to parent alone. The literature from affirming works was explored to counter the negative inferences of African American fathers and provide an alternative lens to view these fathers. Affirming literature speaks to the positive personal experiences that African Americans have had with their fathers or father figures. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the lived experiences of single African American fathers. An open-ended interview was created to collect data using SurveyMonkey, an online survey tool. Ten participants met the eligibility requirements of identifying as an African American male, between ages 25 and 65, currently raising or had raised their children alone, and were willing to complete the online open-ended interview. The collected data were analyzed using a method adapted from Moustakas (1994) and Creswell (1998). Eight themes emerged: Becoming the primary parent; Childhood experiences of single African American fathers; Parenting skills; Parenting challenges of single African American fathers; Single African American fathers are caring parents; The definition of a successful father; Messages to single African American fathers; and Good parenting practices. This study established that there are responsible African American single fathers who choose to parent alone, thus, indicating that they are responsible members of society. Furthermore, according to these fathers, their success as fathers is measured by the success of the children they raised. This research will be valuable for family counselors as it gives them guidance on how to deal with families headed by single African American fathers. (Author abstract)
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