Parenting Influences and School Engagement among African American Male Youth: A Personal Narrative

Darnell Leatherwood


In general, African American males lag behind their White counterparts with regards to high school graduation, college completion and beyond. African American males residing in low resourced communities are especially vulnerable for such disadvantage. Existing literature suggests that parental factors and interactions can help to promote youth academic engagement (i.e., school motivation and educational attainment). However, there remains a dearth of studies on this topic as it pertains to low-income male African American youth.  This paper briefly examines this literature and presents a personal narrative on how parental factors have influenced academic engagement from the perspectives of the author, students he has interacted with and peers. It concludes with practice and policy recommendations. 

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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