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Black Father-Like Figures Support of Black Male First-Generation College Students’ College Going: A Multiple Case Study

Lequisha S Turner, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Black males continue to be underrepresented in post-secondary education and also routinely identify as first-generation college students (FGCS) once they arrive on campus (Camardelle et al., 2022; RIT International, 2019). Historically, research surrounding FGCS has utilized a deficit-based framework which presents FGCS, in comparison to their continuing-generation peers, as lacking the resources needed to succeed in higher education (Dumais & Ward, 2010; Parnes et al., 2020; Roscigno,1999). Some researchers suggest one reason FGCS appear to lack resources is because resources, or capital, are typically measured using Boreidu’s social capital theory which prioritizes European cultural characteristics over the characteristics of other communities (Ives & Castillo-Montoya, 2020). The current study employed a multiple case study design to explore how Black adult father-like figures support Black male first-generation college students in deciding to attend and continue in college, particularly when encountering barriers such as educational bias. The current study also used a strengths-based framework in an attempt to highlight potential resources available to FGCS within their communities of origin. Findings revealed FGCS were able to gain support, traditionally accessed through parents, from non-family members. Study participants defined support as being active, ongoing, consistent, holistic, and realistic. Specific ways participants identified being supported included being exposed to multiple possibilities for their futures, connection to resources, skill acquisition, and others advocating on their behalf. The father-like figures who participated in the study indicated they relied on their own lived experiences and established networks to support their FCGS. Findings from the current study are important because they reveal FCGS from historically marginalized backgrounds are able to gain capital which can be used to overcome educational bias from their communities of origin. Recommendations based on the study’s findings are provided for individuals and institutions that serve Black male first-generation college students.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Psychology|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Turner, Lequisha S, "Black Father-Like Figures Support of Black Male First-Generation College Students’ College Going: A Multiple Case Study" (2023). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI30575474.