School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)



Influience, Promotive, Protective, Risk


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Other Education


The purpose of this case study was to discover the characteristics of African American parental behavior regarding the importance of school, and its influence on their high school children’s academic success in a rural school district, for recent African American graduates in Mountain County, North Carolina. The research study utilized a collective case study approach and included five African American parents and, their children that had graduated from Mountain County High School and gained college acceptance. Guided by Ecological Theory (Bronfenbrenner, 1979), and Risk and Resilience Theory (Catalano, Hawkins, 1996), data collection methods included interviews, document analysis and, focus groups. Methods of analysis included thick description, categorical aggregation, pattern checking, and coding. After data collection and coding, the following themes were developed: “woke”, parental expectations, parental friendship, pursuing future dreams, and parental encouragement. The study concluded that the behavioral characteristics of African America parents provided protective and promotive environment for their children. Recommendations for further research included case studies that examine different geographic regions that were part of the focus of this study or phenomenological studies that can exam African American parental behavior as a behavioral response to environmental conditions, utilizing risk and resilience theory as part of the theoretical frame work.