A Qualitative Phenomenological Study of the Lived Experiences of Adults in the North Georgia Area that Were Retained in Grades K-12

Becky Green

Document Type Article


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to understand the impact retention has had on the lived experiences of adults in the North Georgia area that were retained in their K-12 education. The 10 participants were adults over the age of 18 that live in a rural North Georgia community and have experienced retention. The sampling was purposive and took place at public schools in Mountain Town, Georgia. The research questions for this study were: • How is the experience of grade retention remembered by adults retained in their K-12 education? • How has K-12 retention impacted self-efficacy, the belief in the ability to succeed, and quality of life of adults who were retained during their K-12 education? o How did retention impact their self-esteem? o How did retention impact their employment successes and socioeconomic status? o How did retention impact their home life and relationships? Data collection took place using a survey, questionnaires, interviews, and a focus group discussion. Data analysis was conducted using Moustakas’ Seven Steps (Moustakas, 1994) and included enumeration, selecting quotations to provide authentication, and coding that identified themes, significant statements, and shared experiences.