Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

Debra Woody


The study employed a non-experimental survey design to assess social support, spiritual beliefs and peer influence as contributing factors to high school completion among 203 African American males between 18 and 24 years old. A review of empirical and theoretical literature is presented. The participants completed a paper and pencil or online self report survey comprised of demographics, past psychosocial factors, the friends measure of the Texas Christian University/ Prevention Management and Evaluation System scales on family, friends, and self (TCU/PMES), and the Young Adult Social Support Index (YA-SSI). Descriptives revealed that students residing in "run down" communities and attending run down school are more likely to dropout of school. T-tests were used to evaluate the differences between participants who completed high school and participants who did not. A step-wise logistic regression model was used to determine which variables remained significant while controlling for certain psychosocial factors. Of the social support networks, social support from teachers, counselors, and administrators followed by spiritual beliefs were the most significant predictors of high school completion. The single best predictor of high school completion among the participants was peer influence. Based on these finding, implications for social work practice, policy and future research are presented.


Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Social Work Commons