Date of Conferral





Human Services


Tracey M. Phillips


Juvenile offense is a social problem that affects communities and families. Black juvenile offenses occur at a higher rate than White juvenile offenses. The parents of these offenders may engage in the intervention process of their juvenile offender with the intent to improve the intervention outcome. The literature on this topic, however, is primarily focused on the treatment outcomes of various types of intervention. The identified gap in the literature is research on Black parental input on the process used to select various types of intervention for their offending children. The high rate of incidence compounded by the racial disparity furthers the need to better understand the intervention and treatment selection process from the Black parental perspective. The research question for this study was what are the experiences and perceptions of Black parents involved in selecting juvenile intervention programs for their children who have offended? The theoretical framework used to explain and interpret the participant data was Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory. This generic qualitative study involved 7 interviews with Black parents of juvenile offenders residing 20 miles outside of metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia. Thematic analysis revealed that participants’ selection process is driven by feelings of responsibility, community and church guidance, unaddressed emotional needs of their children, and intervention challenges and outcomes. Findings support the need for preintervention services; intervention resource availability; parental awareness; and intervention strategy, reform, and efficacy. Policy makers may use these results to inform actions to reduce the juvenile offense rate among Black youth and foster better outcomes for this population group.