School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Fred Volk


Black, Father Absence, Graduation, Chronic Absenteeism, African American, Bowen Family Systems Theory


Counseling | Education


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between household compositions of African American male students, chronic absenteeism, and graduation. Chronic absenteeism is missing 10% or more of the academic school year. Using Bowen family systems theory as the theoretical framework helped examine if household composition is related to chronic absenteeism and graduation in African American males. In addition, this study explored the factors that best differentiated single-mother households from two-parent households. This study was conducted in order to develop paternal involvement programs, mentoring programs, attendance programs, and academic programs to increase graduation rates and decrease chronic absenteeism for African American males. The sample included African American males who were enrolled in high school in South Carolina between 2013 and 2018. Archival data were collected from the South Carolina Department of Education on graduation and chronic absenteeism and the U.S. Census Bureau on the household compositions of single-mother and two-parent households and the median household income. Results were analyzed using Classification Tree Analysis with a Chi-square Automatic Interaction Detection growth method and a Pearson’s correlation coefficient to determine the statistical relationship between the variables. The results of the study indicated a significant relationship between household composition: single-mother and two-parent, chronic absenteeism, and graduation for African American males. Additionally, race, income below $62,028, nongraduate, and not chronically absent were identified as factors that differentiated students with single mothers from students with two-parents.