School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Tamika Hibbert


Boarding School, Gender, Alumni, Graduates, Boarding School Syndrome, Single-Gender Military Boarding School


Education | Educational Psychology


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand boarding school syndrome for single-gender boarding school alumni. The theory guiding this study was Erikson’s (1968) socioemotional development theory as it describes human development. Development during Erikson’s adolescent period is fragile. This fragile adolescent period is interrupted when students are separated from their families and placed in the boarding school environment under the care of strangers. Research indicates boarding school syndrome correlates with relationship difficulties, college struggles and employment problems of military boarding school graduates (Marsh, 2011; Schaverien, 2011). Schaverien (2011) created the term boarding school syndrome after treating a significant number of boarding school students in her psychiatry practice. The participants of the present study were purposefully selected to include 10 graduates from single-gender military boarding schools. Participants were selected through an initial purposeful sample, followed by convenience, and then snowball sampling. Participant narratives were gathered through individual interviews, a single online focus group and journaling interviews to reveal the essence of the phenomenon and journaling. Data analysis was accomplished through coding procedures to extract and prioritize statements. These statements were then be broken down, coded into units of textual meaning, then reorganized according to central themes which will form the results of the study.