Loyola University Maryland

Emerging Scholars

Rodney Parker, Christine C. Berger, Ph.D.

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Spirituality and Academic Achievement of Black Male Students: A Grounded Theory Analysis

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Over the past few decades, a growing body of literature that has begun to capture the academic experiences of Black male students in higher education. Current research provides little information about the relationship between religious connection and academic performance among Black male college students. The purpose of this study is to understand Black male students’ academic experience and how this experience is related to spirituality and/or religious connection, and to better understand this relationship and other contributing factors to the academic progress of Black male students. The primary research question for this study is about the influence of spirituality and religious connection on academic progress.

Method: A convenience sample of four Black male undergraduate participants from a mid-size religious affiliated school completed semi-structured interviews, lasting approximately one hour per participant. Using the grounding theory method of qualitative analysis, the data was coded and analyzed. The analysis revealed that categories such as parental influence, personal motivation, and spiritual or religious identity contributed to the understanding of the relationship between spirituality/religiousness and academic performance.

Conclusion: Results and conclusion are forthcoming as the data analysis is incomplete at this time.