Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Dr. Jill Channing

Committee Members

Dr. Don Good, Dr. Keith Johnson


This qualitative phenomenological study examines the lived experiences of adult father-absent African American women to extrapolate from their stories the meaning they attached to the experience and to hear in their own words how they perceived the absence of their father shaped their lives and affected them socially, emotionally, behaviorally, and educationally. Twelve semi-structured interviews were conducted via Zoom audio-conferencing with adult African American women who ranged in age from 20-62 years of age living in various parts of the U.S. The findings of this study revealed that father-daughter relationship bonds held a special meaning to each participant as most of them longed for the presence, protection and love of their fathers. According to the shared stories and perceptions of the participants, living without a father greatly affected the way they viewed the world, relationships with men, relationships with family members, and it had a significant impact upon their lives socially, emotionally, behaviorally and educationally. The women of this study reported that their relationships suffered because they did not have what they considered healthy male-female interactions as a model for their own relationships. This study also revealed that more research is needed regarding father absence and education. The findings of this study can possibly be used to encourage male relatives such as uncles, cousins, older brothers, and community leader to assume the role of social father provide male support, guidance and encouragement to father-absent young women in their families and communities. The findings of this study can also function as a catalyst to more in-depth discussions about the mental and emotional well-being of young Black women as well as the Black community to assure them that seeking mental and emotional support is nothing to be ashamed of.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.