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ERIC Number: EJ1091990
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1938-8926
"Mom Made Me Do It": The Role of Family in African Americans' Decisions to Enroll in Doctoral Education
McCallum, Carmen M.
Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, v9 n1 p50-63 Mar 2016
Large disparities exist among African Americans and other cultural groups in doctoral degree enrollment and degree attainment. To address this concern, scholars have focused on why African Americans do not pursue doctoral degrees. Although informative, this deficit perspective does not explain the factors that encourage African Americans to enroll in doctoral study. Building on Hill's (1999, 2003) conceptualization of the strengths of African American families, this qualitative study uses a cultural perspective to explore the role of family in the graduate school attendance decision-making process. Semistructured interviews with 41 currently enrolled African American doctoral-level students from research intensive institutions revealed that family members play an important role. They provide insight, resources, and emotional and social support during the decision-making process. Findings illuminate the need to focus on culturally relevant strengths of diverse populations when exploring graduate degree decision-making processes. Findings from this study can be used to inform a theoretical model on doctoral degree decision-making as well as graduate schools' recruitment and attainment strategies.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A