Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Gilbert Louis


This study utilized an interpretative phenomenological analysis to explore the lived experiences of young adult males, ages 18 – 24, raised by their African American grandmothers and supported by a not-for-profit organization. It sought to determine the extent to which their overall needs were met and resiliency developed. The researcher utilized a two dimensional theoretical framework that focused on McCubbin & Patterson (1983) theory of family stress and adaptation (double ABCX model) and Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development (1968). Utilizing the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC), 5 participants were identified scoring 76-100 on the scale, indicating a high resiliency level. Through detailed experiences from the voices of the participants during semi-structured in-depth interviews, the results indicated that overall support from social services, family and friends, along with a strong relationship between grandmother and grandson, played a significant role in their ability to self-reflect, develop, and maintain a level of resiliency. The findings begin to describe the phenomenon of young males raised by their grandmothers and how these young males adjust and adapt to their environment as they prepare to transition out of kinship care into adulthood through the themes of; support from internal and external resources, feelings of abandonment due to their absent biological parents, misconduct exhibited through disruptive behavior, education of learned skills applied to life, misunderstandings between grandmother and grandson known as generational gap, health of their aging grandmother, and self-reflection of their lived experiences being raised in kinship care.

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