Date of Award

Fall 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education


Department of Education

Primary Advisor

Dr. Jessica Rafidi

Second Advisor

Dr. Janet L. Deck

Third Advisor

Dr. Kathy Keafer


This qualitative research study used a phenomenological perspective to describe the perceptions of classroom behavioral challenges experienced by Hispanic young adult males who grew up without a constant paternal figure. The purpose of the study was to discover the essence of the effects of father absence on Hispanic males’ educational experiences to inform both parents and educators of the internalized and externalized classroom behaviors. The study presented Feuerstein’s mediated learning experience (MLE) as a theory for limiting negative behaviors in Hispanic males caused by father absence both in and outside the classroom. The method of inquiry followed Creswell’s defining features of phenomenology which included: a description of the phenomenon; the identification of the young adult Hispanic male participants; a philosophical discussion of the phenomenology; the role of the researcher in the study of bracketing while remaining Dasein; data collection through demographic information, face-to-face interviews with study participants, and the inclusion of song lyrics relevant to the phenomenon; data analysis which developed into five themes; and a discussion of the essence of the father absence phenomenon. Hispanic young adult males in the study were found to experience multiple hardships both in school and in their lifeworld as the effect of father absence. Essential themes of father absence experience were relationship with mom, relationship with father, always stayed in school, friends are family, and self-concept. The study highlighted the essence of the father absence phenomenon and strengthened the phenomenological research process.