Documenting the experiences of academically successful college-aged African-American females

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Child and Family Studies


Norma Burges


women students, African American females

Subject Categories

Family, Life Course, and Society | Sociology


There is a bias in the American education system which puts African American females at a disadvantage in relation to academic achievement. The first step in meeting the educational needs of African American females is to gain a better understanding of what contributes to academic success among this group. This paper is a qualitative study of the experiences of academically successful African American females. The conceptual frameworks which guided the research were feminist theory and grounded theory. In-depth interviews were conducted with nine academically successful college aged African American females. Coding techniques were used to analyze the data. HYPERQUAL, a computer program designed to facilitate analysis of qualitative data, was used. Common experience among the participants fell into four broad categories, characteristics, personal attributes, academic tracking, and school experiences.


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