School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Ellen L. Black

Primary Subject Area

Education, General; Education, Bilingual and Multicultural; Education, Secondary; Education, Sociology of; Women's Studies; Hispanic American Studies


At-Risk, Grounded Theory, High School, Latina, Qualitative, Resiliency


Education | Gender and Sexuality | Race and Ethnicity


The purpose of this study was to look at the life experience factors that led to high school graduation through the eyes of resilient Latinas between the ages of 18 and 25. A grounded theory approach was used in combination with Paulo Freire's praxis and a resiliency conceptual framework to derive constructs directly from the data itself. Participants were selected through a purposive, snowball method until saturation was met. Extensive qualitative interviews were employed to gather the data used to derive theory. All data were coded and reviewed in light of the three research questions. Validity and trustworthiness were established through thoroughness of design, appropriate choice of interviewees, transparency, reflexivity, rapport, insider research, use of an interview guide, flexibility, self-reflection, member checks, rigorous design, relevance, full disclosure of methods, and frequent debriefings with the chair and committee.