Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Bill Flora

Committee Members

Don Good, Pamela Scott, Stephanie Tweed


This qualitative study examined the perceived impact of absent fathers on students’ emotional, social, and academic constraints. Many factors can contribute to the loss of a father; so, for the purpose of this research, the researcher examined the impact of the absent father through incarceration and divorce. The research may enable educators to identify the challenges, celebrate victories, and explore what it the phenomenon of an adolescent without the presence of your biological father in our community, from the perspective of the educators.

Information gathered through the administration of educator perception interviews was utilized to identify how an absent father manifests in our secondary students. The educators answered the questions based solely on their perceptions of students without a father they have encountered throughout their careers. The analysis of the data collected for the study allowed the researcher to develop an understanding of the social, emotional, and academic effects of father absence. The data collected could be utilized to teach educators how to recognize and react to the perceived implications of an absent father on a secondary student.

The educators perceived that these students without a father are consistently searching for a father-figure to fill the void left by the absent father. The participants tended to perceive that this lack of a family structure can also lead to disciplinary, relational, academic, emotional, and communication struggles for these students. The perception of poverty and sadness or emptiness often exists, leading to low confidence, low motivation, and a lack of accountability. The perception of the educators was that the lack of security led to overall concern for responsibility and work ethic.

The lack of structure outside the school can contribute to questioning authority or being disrespectful. The lack of discipline at home is perceived to equate to a poor work ethic, low amounts of responsibility, and a low quality of work. These students sometimes have a low self-esteem, thus low expectations and little attention to detail. It may not be the priority of the student to complete all work and therefore they become apathetic with low confidence and expectations for academic success.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.