This article describes a phenomenological study that explored the lived experiences and perceptions of African American males with high school attrition. Sixteen event dropouts participated in individually taped semi-structured interviews, producing descriptive themes that were analyzed. Results from this study revealed eight major themes of (a) school climate matters, (b) social and emotional skills enhance development, (c) share responsibility of educational expectations, (d) support lacking, (e) engaging at-risk behavior, (f) apathetic view of education, (g) motivation is the education multiplier, and (h) respect is key to graduation. Findings and implications for stakeholders and future research are included that might prove helpful in closing the achievement and opportunity gaps within the African American male demographic.


African American males, attrition, phenomenology, graduation, high school

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Dwayne H. Gatson is a military veteran and department chair for a character and leader development program in South Carolina. Please direct correspondence to dwayne.gatson@gmail.com.

Dr. Christine Enslin is a professor at the University of Phoenix, School of Advanced Studies. Please direct correspondence to censlin@email.phoenix.edu.


Acknowledgements: We would like to acknowledge the respondents for providing their valuable time and cooperation during interview sessions key district personnel for supporting this project. Without their willing participation and interest in the topic, this research would not have been possible.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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