Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2016

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Rehabilitation and Counselor Education

First Advisor

David K. Duys

Second Advisor

Armeda J. Wojciak

First Committee Member

Volker Thomas

Second Committee Member

Jacob Priest

Third Committee Member

Stewart W Ehly


This study used qualitative research method to examine the values and experiences of parents raising adolescent children in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It aimed to understand their perspectives, priorities, practices and concerns. Such contextual knowledge can inform practitioners to help parents achieve their parenting goals. Ethiopia is also undergoing numerous cultural, economic and social changes that call for examining existing approaches to raising adolescent children.

Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) guided the process of this study. This qualitative method is useful to study daily experiences that have significance to participants (Brocki & Wearden, 2006). Eight Ethiopian parents from Addis Ababa who raised at least one adolescent child during the period of this study were interviewed. Semi-structured interviews were used to ask parents about their perspectives on an array of topics including the meaning of adolescence, parental aspirations, parental expectations, discipline, parent-child communication and parenting concerns. Nvivo, a Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQAS) was used to manage all data and theme development process.

Data analysis generated obedience and marriage, dating and sexuality as superordinate themes. The following subthemes were developed under obedience: culture and family; respect and Relationships; educational and career success; approaches to raising obedient children and challenges against raising obedient children. Findings showed that parents aspire to raise obedient children. The second theme, marriage dating and sexuality showed the emphasis participants gave to delaying dating and intimacy experiences of their children until after their children were closer to getting married or became economically independent.

Most parents described the period of adolescence as a time when children show more defiance toward parental expectations and thereby a call for more parental control and monitoring. Participants often used advice giving, supervision, limiting their children’s exposures and punishment to achieve their parenting goals. Few parents advocated for the use of high control on adolescent children while most parents stated that coercive measures do not help to raise obedient children. The results of this study showed that most participants expressed authoritarian perspectives and approaches that impose high expectations on children while providing low parental support that help children achieve parental goals. Recommendations and implications for future research, teaching and practice called for the importance of developing and using contextual knowledge to help parents in Ethiopia raise healthy and successful children.


Addis Ababa, Adolescents, Africa, Ethiopia, Parenting, Qualitative Research


x, 159 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 139-153).


Copyright © 2016 Berhan W. Gelan