The perceived impact of African American fathers’ involved presence on their adult children
The African American family can be viewed as a dynamic enterprise of tenacity, resilience, and flexibility. Throughout the African Americans’ history in America, the African American family has lived within contexts that have, in many instances, been divisively constructed for their demise. Duly noted, African American families have been and continues to be more likely to live in poverty, live in at-risk communities, undereducated, experience early, pre-martial pregnancies, die of disease and other unhealthy aliments such as high blood pressure and obesity, operate in social and systematic racism, and experience familial breakdown than any other racial group in America (Miller, 2018). With these adversities daily besetting the African American family, including in many instances the absence, displacement, and disengagement of the “father role,” I am seeking to explore the lived experiences of African American adult children who self-report the involved presence of their father during childhood through a phenomenological approach. Four major domains will be explored for African American fathers’ effect: (1) gender role development, (2) romantic attachment, (3) self-concept, and (4) future parenting styles. These father-adult child dyads will be explored through three theoretical lenses: (1) family systems theory, (2) resilience, and (3) Afrocentricity. The overarching purpose of this research project is to explore, through a phenomenological approach, the effects of the involved presence of African American fathers on their adult children. With this information, I wish to add to the body of knowledge the lived experiences of such families and add positive outcomes and elements to the literature concerning African American families, fathers and men in particular. The principal purpose is to share such results with everyday fathers in the community who may be statically and/or realistically absent, disengaged, invisible, or displaced. Such illuminating evidence would become vital for all to comprehend the important role constructive, fatherly engagement plays in the development and positive outcome of their children.