School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Kenneth R. Tierce


Struggling Readers, African American Adolescent Males


Education | Language and Literacy Education | Reading and Language


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to understand the lived experiences of African American male high school sophomores in the metro-Atlanta area who are struggling readers. The study encompassed investigation of the self-efficacy, future outlook, and how past and present reading experiences impact African American adolescent males’ ability to be hopeful and optimistic in their future career paths and postsecondary options. Participants comprised 12 African American high school sophomores enrolled in a Title I school found in the metro-Atlanta, Georgia area. The study was guided by one central research question and two research subquestions. In general, the research questions were used to discover how lived experiences contribute to the attitudes of 10th grade African American adolescent males who struggle in the area of reading. Data were collected through individual interviews, a focus group interview, and reflective journaling. All data collected were coded to find common themes related to the research questions. The results of the study offer insight into the lived experiences of adolescent African American males and their attitudes toward reading. Further research may support current findings and initiate the creation of a more relevant, diverse curriculum that impacts a larger population. Keywords: adolescence, African American males, high school reading, struggling readers, postsecondary