10.1080/00221546.2020.1731262 ">

Othermothering: Exploring African American graduate students’ decision to pursue the doctorate

Document Type


Publication Date



Leadership and Counseling

Publication Title

Journal of Higher Education


© 2020 The Ohio State University. The faculty-student relationship is one of the most influential relationships in a college student’s life. This is especially true for African American students. However, African American students often have trouble forming quality relationships with faculty, especially at predominantly White institutions. This study sought to better understand the characteristics of faculty-student relationships that influence African American students’ decision to pursue doctoral study. Using Othermothering as a conceptual framework, 41 semi-structured interviews were conducted with PhD students who reached candidacy. Influential relationships had Othermothering characteristics. A total of four themes epitomize those characteristics: (1) caring, (2) keeping it real, (3) high expectations, and (4) identity connections.

Link to Published Version