Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Beverly J. Vandiver

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary Z. Anderson

Third Advisor

Dr. Douglas Davidson


Black fathers, father involvement, black men, father-son relationship, father nurturance, black families


The purpose of this study is to investigate the perceptions that Black men have of their relationships with their fathers, specifically, adult sons’ retrospective perceptions of their fathers’/father figures’ involvement and nurturance during childhood, and their current emotional availability. The aim is also to explore whether perceptions of their fathers predict Black men’s current psychological well-being. The following measures are used: (a) a demographic questionnaire, (b) the Nurturant Fathering Scale (NFS, Finley & Schwartz, 2004; Williams & Finley, 1997), (c) the Father Involvement Scale (FIS, Finley & Schwartz, 2004), (d) the Lum Emotional Availability of Parenting Scale (LEAP; Lum & Phares, 2005), and (e), the Flourishing Scale (FS, Diener et al., 2010). The sample is 177 men who primarily identify as Black American/African American, and they range in age from 18 to 82 years. More than half of the participants report being married and having at least a bachelor’s degree.

Hierarchical multiple regression analyses are used to investigate the hypotheses posed. It has been found that Black men who perceive their fathers as more nurturing and involved during their childhood also report their fathers as being more emotionally available during their adulthood. The results also reveal that Black men who experience their fathers as more emotionally available during adulthood have better current psychological well-being. Furthermore, age is linked to psychological well-being: as Black men’s age increase, so do their report of an increased level of psychological well-being. This study provides implications for counseling Black men about the father-son relationship. Counseling psychologists might use psychotherapy to help Black men explore the perceptions of their fathers’ involvement during childhood and adulthood, and to process the impact that paternal involvement has on their views of themselves, fathers, and current/future sons. Furthermore, this study provides implications for developing psychoeducational counseling interventions and Black fatherhood enrichment programs to inform Black fathers about ways to enhance the father-son relationship (Bocknek et al., 2017; Roy & Dyson, 2010).

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access