Boys’ Experiences of Paternal Absence and Their Perceptions of This on Their Performance at School

Nesbit, Rebecca (2012) Boys’ Experiences of Paternal Absence and Their Perceptions of This on Their Performance at School. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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This study was to investigate the experiences of boys whose fathers have been permanently absent from the home and how they perceive this to be impacting on their school performance. It is hoped that the findings will inform policy decisions at the school level and guide the practice of counsellors when working with father-absent boys.


A qualitative approach was used in carrying out the study. Using the strategy of narrative research, semi-structured interviews were conducted individually with six boys from a secondary school in Dominica. The data was analysed using narrative analysis.


In the absence of their father the majority of participants lacked emotional support, mentoring, and adequate economic resources. They experienced feelings of broken attachment, emotional pain, loneliness, and grief. Limited supervision, behavioural problems, assumption of parental roles and decision making, and their mothers’ inadequacy were cited by half of the participants as challenges faced. There was no significant impact of paternal absence on the majority of the participants’ school performance.


Participants suffered emotionally and psychologically due to the absence of their fathers. Their feelings were dealt with and expressed differently. Counselling seems necessary for participants to address their problems associated with their fathers’ absence.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Keywords: Boys, Paternal Absence, Perceptions, Performance, School
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2012 16:04
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2017 13:20

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