Resilience in African American Single-Parent Households: Perceptions of Predictors for Academic Success
Jackson de Carvalho, PhD; Beverly Spears, PhD

The notable increase in academic success among youth from a single parent, African American families, has occurred in the shadow of years of oppression, historical trauma, and differential treatment related to race, gender and income. Research on resilience has consistently shown that low levels of income and single parenting are two potent risk factors that tend to have adverse impacts on families and children. This study focus on the manifestation of resilience in children who live in homes that are headed by African American mothers. The purpose of this study is to delineate the factors that influence resilience and academic achievement of African American youth that live in African American, female-headed, single parent, households. This study contributes to the existing body of knowledge by increasing understanding regarding the life experiences of female single parents and their children. Subsequently, educators, school administrators, and policymakers can be better informed to assist children of single parents in having the opportunity to succeed academically and become contributing members of society. Additionally, understanding how certain individuals overcome adversity and challenges will lead to the development of successful interventions, policies, and practices for others facing similar challenges. Each year thousands of students leave school without graduating, and this problem is exacerbated in the African American community.

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