Graduate Student Dissertations, Theses, Capstones, and Portfolios

Date of Award


Document Type


Granting Institution

Lynn University

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EDD)

Degree Program

Educational Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Susan Saint John

Second Advisor

Jennifer J. Lesh

Third Advisor

Ruthe Francis


Research supports that people who dropout of high school do substantially worse than those who graduate (Anderson & Pörtner, 2014) based upon research on the consequences of dropping out of high school. High school dropouts “earn less, report lower levels of happiness, commit more crimes, and suffer from poorer health” (Anderson & Pörtner, 2014, p. 113). Dropout rates have a massive impact on employment rates, individual earnings, and crime rates (, 2020, para. 7). Students who dropout of high school “face social stigma, fewer job opportunities, lower salaries, and higher probability of involvement with the criminal justice system” (Mass. Dept. of Education, 2009, para. 2).

The odds are stacked against females even more regarding their health, including reproductive health. “Female dropouts may be more susceptible to contracting Sexually Transmitted Infections because they partner with significantly different types of people than non-dropouts” (Anderson & Pörtner, 2014, p. 113).

Furthermore, “despite significant strides in women’s reproductive health, disparities in access and outcomes remain, especially for racial-ethnic minorities in the United States” (, 2020, para. 2). According to Dr. Veronica Gillispie-Bell, “implicit bias among health care professionals leads to disparities in how health care is delivered” (Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2021, para. 1). This disparity in healthcare was highlighted only recently with the number of Black lives lost due to COVID-19.

It is imperative to examine whether there is a clear correlation between Black female patients who dropout of high school and their reproductive health outcomes, i.e., STIs, STDs, or unintended pregnancies, and whether they are greater in number than White females with the same level of education. The study aimed to identify a relationship between Black females’ level of education, specifically if they dropped out of high school, and whether their reproductive health outcomes (STIs, STDs, or unintended pregnancies) are greater in number than White females with the same level of education.

The purpose of the correlational study aimed to identify a relationship between Black female patients’ education (dropped out of high school) and the services they utilized at a women’s reproductive health care provider, using an “explanatory mixed methods design, which is a sequential, two-phased mixed method” (Creswell & Plano-Clark, 2011, p.12). The mixed-methods design is for the “procedure of collecting, analyzing, and mixing or integrating both quantitative and qualitative data at some stage of the research process within a single study” (Creswell & Plano-Clark, 2011, p.12).

The researcher found that for every three White female dropouts there was one Black female dropout based upon the reproductive health services used during the last two years. The researcher also found that more patients with higher degrees utilized the reproductive healthcare provider’s services than patients without college degrees.



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