School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Cindi Spaulding


Father, Husband, Limited Residency Doctoral Program (LRDP), Persistence, School Leader, Student Integration Theory (SIT)


Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Leadership | Educational Psychology | Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration


This transcendental phenomenological study investigated doctoral persistence for males (N = 13) who completed their limited residency doctoral program (LRDP) while managing their family roles as fathers and husbands, and while performing their work role as a K-12 lead school administrator. Participants were selected via snowball sampling from private universities that offered a LRDP in the United States. The theories guiding this study were Tinto’s (1975, 1993, 2006) student integration theory (SIT) and Hobfoll’s (1989) conservation of resource model (COR). Tinto’s (1975, 1993, 2006) SIT explained the academic and social interaction between the individual and the institution, while Hobfoll’s (1989) COR model explains relationships between work and family roles and the effect of life changing events on stress levels. Data was collected via questionnaire, survey, in-depth semi-structured interview, and a letter of advice and analyzed using Moustakas’ (1994) procedures for conducting a transcendental phenomenological study. The essence of the phenomenon was the dynamic support of the spouse who gave the male, LRDP student, husband, father, and school leader the space needed to use his grit to complete the LRDP, and the structure of the LRDP gave the male the flexibility to persist without neglecting other roles and responsibilities.