Date of Award

Fall 11-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Stephen Sherblom

Second Advisor

Simone T. Minner

Third Advisor

Erika D. Whitfield


There is an ample amount of research that documents the positive effect of self-esteem on a child established through an affirmative parental or mentoring relationship, verses a specific parent-mentoring approach designed with a curriculum to enhance the positive self-esteem of African-American daughters based on the relationship with their maternal parent. The purpose of this qualitative study was to answer the following research questions: what strategies and behaviors are used by parents in African-American families to affect the self-esteem of female children and adolescents and, how can strategies and behaviors exhibited by African-American parental mentors be organized in a teachable format for African-American families? By utilizing a portraiture research design to study specific parental mentoring techniques and behavior exhibited by five female parents in African-American families which are intended to affect the self-esteem of their biological African-American female children and adolescents. The project focused on a unique group of African-American parents who had been recognized by the court system as parental mentors. They had been trained to use specific strategies and behaviors to assist their daughters in developing confidence in their ability to think and to cope with the basic challenges in life: success, happiness, self-worth, self-esteem, and efficacy. Overall, the results of the study showed supporting evidence of the importance of parenting African-American females in a diverse format which would allow the elements of self-love, confidence, and historical pride to aid in the comprehension of effective coping procedures. The emerging strategies that were a commonality among the mothers throughout the entire process were consistency, behavior representation, love, historical teachings, communication, processes, and involvement. The mentoring iii component demonstrated by the mothers exposed them and their truths in a transparent form to all that were involved in a Rites of Passage process. This exposure allowed daughters to view them from a humanistic perspective without the authoritative title of mother, which also allowed them to relate more based on gender and cultural commonalities.


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