Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP


While Bettis and Sternod (2009) asserted the notion of boys being in crisis as not a new phenomenon but a historically cyclical one, present research contends that African American men are one of the most at-risk groups in the United States. School and criminal-justice systems show similar results. African American men continue to lag in terms of graduation rates and college enrollment, while being overrepresented in victim violence and the criminal justice system. They also lead the nation in homicides as both victims and perpetrators. Despite these obstacles, many at-risk African American men graduate from college and excel in life. A variety of protective factors contributes to their progress. While the reasons for failed progress and risk factors are saturated within the research, there remains few outlets that focus on protective factors that have helped many African American men. As such, this study explored and identified protective factors that have contributed to the progress of successful African American men in hopes of aiding others in their community in overcoming risks and embarking on a more successful path.