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Poppa was a Sneakerhead


The term “Black Father” often evokes a negative connotation, synonymous with abandonment and absentee parenting. However, Black fathers are not monolithic and as a group have recently been shown to be more involved with their children across various domains than are fathers of other racial and ethnic groups (Jones & Mosher, 2013). Interdisciplinary scholarly efforts are needed to continue to address negative stereotypes related to the experiences of Black fathers. These efforts can begin by investigating dimensions and determinants of fathering that are often overlooked. In doing so, we’ve developed a multi-method project  (i.e. quantitative survey, qualitative interview, photo elicitation)in collaboration with Dr. Delisia Matthews (Wilson College of Textiles) that explores the impact of consumer behavior on the parenting practices of Black fathers via the lens of Sneakerhead culture


Student Photographer, Robyn Bess, created a photo series highlighting the essence of fatherhood and sneakers

Understanding the Experiences and Needs of Fathers with Children in Kinship Care

This project, funded by the Fatherhood Research and Practice Network, aims to learn about the fathering experiences of men with children living in relative care (kinship care). The goal of this project is to highlight the voices of these fathers and begin to develop a roadmap of fatherhood programs and interventions to meet their needs. To accomplish this, we’ve conducted in-depth qualitative interviews with 25 fathers, 20 fatherhood practitioners, and 10 kinship caregivers in the Raleigh/Durham area. The Fatherhood Research and Practice Network is a five-year national project creating opportunities for fatherhood research and evaluation. 

The Black Families Project (BFP)

The Black Families Project (BFP), is a national dyadic survey of 600 Black adolescents and their primary caregivers. The BFP was designed with the goal of understanding the psychological and physical health of Black caregivers and their adolescent children with a focus on family socialization and communication within our current sociopolitical climate.

Trauma-Informed Parenting Support for Fathers in Recovery

Your Voice Matters: Exploring Nonresident Fatherhood in North Carolina


This project, supported by the Center for Family and Community Engagement and funded by the North Carolina Division of Social Services, focused on the parenting experiences of nonresident fathers in Wake and Durham Counties. The goal of the project was to highlight the lives and experiences of these fathers, and gather recommendations about ways to improve services to meet their needs. Our team held 3 focus groups and 7 in-depth  individual interviews, interviewing a total of 25 nonresident fathers. 

North Carolina's Fatherhood Development Action Plan

We, along with the North Carolina Office of Child Support Services, received a state planning grant from the FRPN.  The purpose of the FRPN-funding was to enhance father inclusion, with an emphasis on nonresident fathers, in state programs and policies dealing with children and families. North Carolina was one of 11 states to receive the planning grant. The award was meant to support strategic planning efforts, interagency convenings and data collection activities designed to produce system change.

Past Projects

McLeod, B. A., Johnson Jr, W. E., Cryer-Coupet, Q. R., & Mincy, R. B. (2019). Examining the longitudinal effects of paternal incarceration and coparenting relationships on sons' educational outcomes: A mediation analysis. Children and Youth Services Review, 100, 362-375.


Doyle, O., Clark, T. T., Cryer-Coupet, Q. R., Lombe, M., Stephens, J., & Nebbitt, V. E. (2017). Paternal caregivers’ parenting practices and psychological functioning among African American youth living in urban public housing. Family Process, 56(3), 752-765.


Doyle, O., Magan, I., Cryer-Coupet, Q. R., Goldston, D. B., & Estroff, S.E. (2016). “Don’t wait for it to rain to buy an umbrella:” The transmission of values from African American fathers to sons. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, DOI: 10.1037/men0000028.  


Alleyne-Green, B., Grinnell-Davis, C., Clark, T. T., Quinn, C. R., & Cryer-Coupet, Q. R. (2016). Father involvement, dating violence, and sexual risk behaviors among a national sample of adolescent females. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 31(5), 810-830.


Alleyne-Greene, B., Grinnell-Davis, C., Clark, T.T., & Cryer-Coupet, Q.R. (2015). The role of fathers in reducing dating violence victimization and sexual risk behaviors among a national sample of Black adolescents. Children and Youth Services Review, 55, 48-55.


Doyle, O., Clark, T. T., Cryer-Coupet, Q.R., Nebbitt, V. E., Goldston, D. B., Estroff, S. E., & Magan, I. (2015). Unheard voices: African American fathers speak about their parenting practices. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 16(3), 274-283.


Washington, T., Cryer-Coupet, Q. R., Coakley, T. M., Labban, J., Gleeson, J. P., & Shears, J. (2014). Examining maternal and paternal involvement as promotive factors of competence in African American children in informal kinship care. Children and Youth Services Review, 44, 9-15.

Nebbitt, V., Tirmazi, T. M., Lombe, M., Cryer-Coupet, Q., & French, S. (2014). Correlates of the sex trade among African–American youth living in urban public housing: Assessing the role of parental incarceration and parental substance use. Journal of Urban Health, 91(2), 383-393.


Phillips, S. D., & Cryer-Coupet, Q. R. (2012). Parental incarceration as a social determinant of male African-American adolescents’ mental health. In. H.M. Treadwell, C. Xanthos, & K.B. Holden (Eds.), Social determinants of health among African-American men (pp.83-96). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

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