Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Anthony P. Chiarlitti, EdD

Second Supervisor

Greta R. Strong, EdD


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to examine the perceptions of school administrators regarding the impact adultification bias toward Black adolescent girls has on their overrepresentation in disciplinary data. Data were analyzed through 10 semi-structured interviews of principals and assistant principals. Social reproduction theory, intersectional theory, and Black feminist thought framed this study’s findings, which suggest that Black adolescent girls experience adultification bias regularly, contributing to their negative schooling experiences. These adverse experiences are often the result of a subjective interpretation of district policies through a biased lens.

The findings suggest that building leaders are often willing to facilitate programs to change the culture of their buildings but they reported feeling unsupported by their district leadership. This study also found that school faculties have not advanced in demographics or diversity at the same rate as their student body in many suburban public schools.

This study’s results can impact the policies and practices that contribute to the overrepresentation of Black adolescent girls in disciplinary data. The recommendations were made that districts be intentional in hiring practices and provide strategic, continuous learning opportunities to address trauma-informed practices and implicit bias to promote welcoming, affirming, and socioculturally responsive environments so students of all backgrounds can thrive.

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