Date of Conferral







Brandy B. Benson


This grounded theory study aimed to address the lack of awareness and resources available for single custodial fathers to address stressors in caring for their children. The findings of this qualitative study were derived from electronic correspondence and semi-structured individual interviews with 16 single primary custodial fathers residing in the state of California. The data were analyzed inductively following Percy et al.’s step-by-step process, which generated the following overarching themes: (a) societal stressors, (b) the aftermath of separation from child’s mother, (c) the reason for separation from child’s mother, (d) hands-on work in raising a child and accomplishing chores, (e) economic stressors, (f) help in caring for a child, (g) motivated by own child to do better, and (h) developed resilience. Despite the increasing prevalence of single-father households, support programs and methods for single custodial fathers continue to be understudied; thus, there has been a lack of attention on the challenges that single custodial fathers face in their experiences of parenthood. Future researchers can continue addressing this gap to help such fathers cope with their experiences and to encourage future leaders to create more programs to support fathers in such a transition resulting in positive social change.