Date of Conferral





Human Services


Mary E. Bold


Many children in the U.S. public education system at the elementary and secondary levels are below proficiency in reading and math. Parental involvement within the home and school context is important to children's overall and academic success. The purpose of this basic, qualitative study was to explore fathers' perception about their self-efficacy, reading and math skills, knowledge of and accessibility to educational and community resources, and their involvement in the academic lives of their elementary school-age children. Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory provided the theoretical framework of social interrelatedness. Semistructured interviews were conducted to collect the data from 7 fathers with children in elementary school. Data were analyzed using a 6-step general inductive approach. Findings of this study were categorized into 5 themes: self-efficacy, relationship, adaptiveness, resourcefulness, and communication. Fathers' self-efficacy, relationship with their child, levels of adaptability, and resourcefulness were key determining factors and sustainers of fathers' involvement in their child's academic life. The perceptions fathers had about their reading and math skills enhanced their overall involvement with their child's daily care and learning activities; but were not direct determinants of their involvement in their child's academics. Increasing fathers' awareness about their influential relationship with their child; providing support, training, and educational programs based on the academic materials taught in the classroom may lead to positive social change by increased and continued father involvement in the academic lives of children, raising children's educational scores to proficiency or above.