Date of Conferral







Dr. Elizabeth S. Clark


Empirical studies have shown that single-parent families have been overrepresented in disadvantaged neighborhoods, and the children of these families are more exposed to factors that lead to aggressive behavior. Despite these studies, there is limited literature on the parenting of immigrant mothers that may prevent aggressive behaviors in children. Therefore, the purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the lived experiences of single Southern African immigrant mothers in low socioeconomic neighborhoods in California working and raising male children who do not exhibit aggressive behaviors in schools and in the community. Seligman's theory of positive psychology informed this study. Research questions were focused on how the participants make meaning of and positively cope with their parenting experiences. Data were collected through semistructured interviews using purposive sampling of 8 single Southern African immigrant mothers. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis, 5 themes emerged: (a) working hard, (b) religion, (c) family, (d) education, and (e) positively coping. The findings of this study may contribute to positive social change by informing policy makers from California and high school personnel about the need to develop programs that are culturally responsive to the needs of adolescents with aggressive behaviors.