Exploring the Relationship Between African American Father Involvement and the Academic Success of Their College-Age Children.

Journal Name
Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences
Journal Volume
Journal Issue
1-A (E)
Page Count
Year Published
Author (Individual)
Davis, Gina R.
Resource Type
Unpublished Paper

Father involvement appears to be a significant factor in the success of African American children, resulting in positive psychosocial, behavioral, cognitive, and academic achievement outcomes beginning in toddlerhood and continuing through late adolescence. The present study assessed how involvement of African American fathers influences their adult children's adjustment ability and academic achievement in college and graduate school. Over 100 participants, aged 18-34, who self-identified as African American, were raised with an African American biological father or non-biological father figure, and were currently enrolled in college or graduate school completed 5 surveys, including three qualitative narrative questions. Four variables were used to investigate the relationship between father involvement and success in college: father nurturance, father involvement, college adjustment, and academic success. The quantitative measures included a demographic questionnaire and modified versions of Nurturant Fathering Scale (NFS), Father Involvement Scale (FIS), Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire (SACQ), and Academic Self-Concept Scale (ASCS). Each revised modified scale helped render the measures applicable to graduate student populations and participants who identified as being raised by a nonbiological father figure. Two sets of correlation analyses indicated a positive relationship between father involvement and the social and personal emotional aspects of overall adjustment in school. In addition, a positive relationship between father nurturance and the social, personal emotional, and academic attachment aspects of overall school adjustment was also identified. No significant relationship between father involvement/nurturance and academic achievement was found. Simultaneous multiple linear regression analyses found no differences between undergraduate versus graduate students or men versus women. Thematic analyses were conducted on three open-ended questions pertaining to father's role in the participants' decision to attend college, decision to remain in college, and academic achievement in college. The findings suggest that a majority of the students surveyed endorse various forms of support from their fathers or father figures in the pursuit of higher education. Implications for the significance of researching the relationships between African American fathers and their children and for the effects of father involvement on college-age children in therapy are discussed. (Author abstract)

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