Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Leadership and Higher Education


Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Dissertation Chair

James Valadez, Ph.D.,

Committee Members

Chris Hunt, Ed.D.

Greg Hamilton, Ed.D.


Parent Involvement, African American Males, Perceived Success and Engagement


Educational Leadership


This narrative study used theoretical frameworks of Epstein’s overlapping sphere of influence and parental framework to evaluate parental perceptions of success held by parents and guardians of African American males in a southern California public school and to determine whether those perceptions influenced school- and district-based involvement and engagement. The research investigated how parents defined academic success by their children, which instructional measures used by the site and district were most appreciated, and which forms of engagement they were most likely to utilize throughout the school year. The research secured thoughts and desires of parents who are often overlooked as community members and provided an opportunity to give feedback on the instructional integrity and academic attainment of their children.

The research was designed to increase parental involvement by identifying the needs and desires of the participants. In California, district-based funding is predicated on integration of parental involvement, so most schools offer parental engagement activities. However, it is not clear whether parents and guardians of African American males consider those activities as relevant and participate in them.

This research addresses achievement disparities between African American males and their grade-level peers in one urban southern California school district and parents’ concepts of student success measures. Therefore, this research has the capacity to build a strategic collaboration among all members of the learning community through their overlapping spheres of influence.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


© 2020 Robin S. McMillon

All Rights Reserved


Dissertation Location