Teenage girls’ self-efficacy and motivation : a qualitative study exploring the positive influence African American fathers have on their daughters.


The literature on the dyad of African American (AA) fathers and daughters is limited. Therefore, a need existed for research to highlight and affirm the life impacting contributions of AA fathers on their daughters, especially when AA males are often portrayed to as a threat, delinquent, and disposable. Revealing the influences that AA fathers have on adolescent AA girls who experience meaningful connections with their fathers adds knowledge to the literature that may alter negative perceptions of AA males. The purpose of this study was to determine how AA fathers’ positive engagement increases the likelihood of AA girls not only viewing themselves as capable and able but also becoming equipped with the motivation and efficacy to act on and accomplish their dreams. This descriptive study explored the experiences of the AA father-daughter dyad using a qualitative single case study design. A composite of two theories, self-efficacy and self-determination, guided the development of research and interview questions as well as the procedures for the study. Answers to the central research question, “What positive influence do AA fathers have on their daughters?” and two secondary questions, “How do AA fathers positively influence their daughters’ self-efficacy?” and “How do AA fathers positively influence their daughters’ motivation?” resulted from one-on-one electronic interviews through Zoom with 10 AA daughters from a high school mentoring organization, PUSH Girls. Three themes, the 3Cs of AA fathering, emerged as major findings: caring, comforter, confidence builder. These themes defined how daughters viewed their fathers and how they felt as a result of the father’s presence. Daughters experienced positive effects to include happiness, love, pride, joy, fun, and peace; daughters felt more empowered as they engaged in academic and social activities; and daughters felt motivated to persist in their approach to handle challenging situations. The implications of the findings include that the fathering role is significant for impacting daughters’ self-efficacy and motivation and for equipping their daughters for success; the fathers’ presence is critical to how their daughters view themselves. The findings are important for challenging and absolving preconceived notions about AA fathers.



Father-daughter dyad. African American fathers. Black males. Fathering. Self-efficacy. Self-determination. Invisible syndrome.