Date of Award

Spring 2-21-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Jalin B. Johnson

Second Advisor

Dr. Douglas DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Felicia Haecker


Purpose: The purpose of this heuristic phenomenological study is to examine the lived experiences of Black American women who were teen mothers and achieved master’s degrees and higher. Furthermore, this study seeks to describe the economic barriers and support resources that hinder and/or influence educational achievement as perceived by Black American women who were teen mothers.

Methodology: This heuristic phenomenological study shares the personal experiences and commonalities of 16 Black American women who were teen mothers as the support resources perceived as impacting or encouraging their ability to achieve a master’s degree or higher.

Findings: There were four overarching themes identified from the data collected in this study process. The four themes are patience, persistence, passion, and people. The identified themes provided a detailed explanation for how Black American women who were former teen mothers navigated the challenges of teen motherhood and achieved educational success through accomplishing a master’s degree or higher.

Conclusions: There were several conclusions gained from the data collection of this qualitative study. The focus on background experiences, obstacles, support systems and resources outlined the framework used to identify a collection of themes and findings necessary to support future generations of teen mothers. The collection of Black American women who achieved academic success through obtaining a master’s degree presented ideas on how to encourage and motivate the next generation of teen mothers towards economic stability.

Recommendations: Further research was recommended to boost the support of teen mothers seeking educational advancement. The recommendations focused on expanding the study to include a long-term, phenomenological case study of the pathway between teen motherhood and achieving master’s degrees, engaging in a phenomenological study that explores teen motherhood and the pathway to successful entrepreneurship, concentrating on research that identifies the pathways of teen fathers, exploring the cultural influences that limit communication about sexual intercourse, and examining a cross-sectional study on military service and the stability of former teen mothers.

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