Document Type



Doctor of Education


Educational Practice

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Dr. Paulette Isaac-Savage


Dr. Mathew Taylor

Dr. John A. Henschke

Dr. Gwendolyn Y. Turner


This study focused on the difficulties and challenges experienced by sons who had absent fathers. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the lived experiences of sons who grew up with absent fathers and the effects on them as adults at home, in school, in their neighborhoods, and their decision-making processes. The sample consisted of eight men who grew up with absent fathers. Data were collected using face-to-face, structured and semi-structured interviews. Results indicated that participants' lived experiences of home life were characterized by financial and emotional hardships resulting from not having a father's earnings and care. The meanings or lessons that participants derived from having absent fathers included the importance of being independent, appreciating the people who remained with them, making the best of their situation, and creating a better life for their children.