Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Dr. Anthony P. Chiarlitti

Second Supervisor

Dr. Janice Kelly


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to examine the perceptions of successful aging of middle-aged African American men. African American men continue to have the worst health status of all ethnic groups. This study explored middle-aged African American men who identified themselves as free of any physical or cognitive issues. The study explored how the men maintained their health while avoiding a primary care provider and health care system with a history of mistreatment and discrimination. The research study provided additional information about successful aging and the lived experience of those participants.

The aim was to address the gap in research between middle-aged African American men and their self-care protocols and how spirituality aided in successful aging, as well as provide valuable data for African American men. In this qualitative design, 13 participants from Nassau County shared their perceptions of self-care, spirituality, and what it meant to age successfully in their experiences. Participants were between 44 and 66 and they had various interpretations of successful aging.

The themes of (a) spirituality, (b) self well-being, (c) gratitude, (d) expectation of self and others, and (e) support were identified through this study. Maintaining masculinity norms and independence were also essential components of successful aging results.

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