Methods: All three papers utilized qualitative approaches to center the voices of Black men in their explorations of the contexts in which Black fathers develop and parent. The analysis in paper one was informed by grounded theory methods based on individual interviews from a convenience sample of 30 African American fathers in the South-Atlantic region who had pre-adolescent biological sons at-risk for developing aggression and depressive symptoms. In paper two, authors utilized focus groups and individual interviews with nonresident Black fathers who experienced trauma related to parental incarceration, homelessness, and substance use disorders, and conducted a directed content analysis to explore factors that impact parenting behaviors following a family-trauma. In paper three, the authors conducted a conceptual content analysis based on semi-structured qualitative interviews with Black sons-in-law to better understand their perceptions of their relationships with their fathers-in-law.
Results: In paper one, authors report African American fathers' descriptions of structural, family, and individual challenges faced by boys and fathers, such as racism, finances and providing, and relationships with their own fathers. In paper two, the authors discuss Black nonresident fathers' descriptions of internal motivational beliefs (i.e., paternal role construction and paternal self-efficacy) and perceptions of invitations for involvement from other family members as determinants of fathers' motivation for involvement following a family trauma. In paper three, the authors highlight Black sons-in law's descriptions of two relationship characteristics described as essential to building the male in-law bond: holding similar values and expectations about masculine norms, and providing and receiving affective and instrumental support.
Implications: Each paper is rooted in a strengths approach to the study of Black fathering, and offers unique insight into fathering in a population that often experiences considerable racial and social injustice. Collectively, these papers advance the scientific knowledge base by providing a better understanding of the structural and interpersonal contexts, and individual challenges faced by Black fathers. Moreover, they provide a basis for the development of innovative interventions with Black children and fathers. Implications for social work interventions, research and practice are discussed.