Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Edward Kim


In three low socioeconomic urban communities of Greenwood (pseudonym), young men's lack of education provides dim prospects of employment, possibly causing the young men to turn to gun violence. The purpose of this study was to understand the perceptions of concerned clergy, law officials, and members of a Neighborhood Watch organization regarding the factors that contribute to gun violence in the southern communities in the United States. The conceptual framework for this study was Bandura's modeling theory. The central research question addressed how the community stakeholder groups described their perceptions regarding gun violence among young male adults. For this qualitative case study, a total of 9 stakeholders from the clergy, law officials, and Neighborhood Watch organization who had knowledge about the issues being investigated were selected through purposeful sampling and interviewed individually and in a focus group. The data were coded and categorized for themes. Thick descriptions of the stakeholder perspectives were combined with notes and interviews. The emerging themes were lack of education, inappropriate leadership, and an unhealthy community life; therefore, suggesting that professional development needs to be provided to the stakeholders on how to support the unemployed men in achieving skills through education, developing leadership skills through positive role modeling, and building a better community life through nonviolent social skills. The results indicated that applying skills to the service of young men exposed to gun violence would contribute to positive social change by understanding other potential causes of the gun violence problem. The implications for positive social change will become evident as young men become educated, find employment, and regain self-esteem and confidence in their ability to lead.