Sociology, Georgia State University
Cohort Six Fellow

Academic Mentor
Deirdre Oakley
Professor, Department of Sociology, Georgia State University

Policy Mentor
Waldo E. Johnson, Jr.
Associate Professor, School of Social Service Administration, The University of Chicago

Research Interests
Neighborhood and Racial Inequality; Father Involvement; Criminal Justice; Child Well-Being; Social Policy  

Areas of Expertise

Economic Supports for FamiliesEvidence-Based/Evidence-Informed Programs, Families and Family Systems, Program Evaluation, Ethnography, Grounded Theory, Mixed Methods, Fathers, Formerly Incarcerated Individuals, Low-Income Families and Individuals, Racial/Ethnic Minority Groups, School-aged Children


Clinton Boyd, Jr. is a Doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at Georgia State University, with a concentration in race and urban studies. His research interests include child well-being, father involvement, neighborhood and spatial inequality, evidence-based practice research, criminal justice reform policy, and place-based social policy. Mr. Boyd has worked as a doctoral research assistant on two federally-funded child maltreatment projects, and currently, serves as a research assistant on a National Science Foundation supported grant to study the effects of community land trusts on low-income families. In addition to his research experience, Mr. Boyd has practical experience working with high-risk, justice-involved youth and ex-offender fathers through the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine. Further, he recently co-facilitated a fatherhood engagement webinar co-hosted by Georgia’s Department of Family and Child Services, Prevent Child Abuse Georgia, and the National SafeCare Training and Research Center. Clinton holds a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from Concordia University Chicago, and an M.A. in Sociology from DePaul University.


The Missing Link: Neighborhood Environments, African-American Fatherhood, Child Well-Being, and the Call for Strategic Policy Reform

Neighborhood environments refer to the physical and social properties of neighborhood ecological settings and how these features affect individual and community well-being. Consequently, there is a growing body of scholarship exploring the relationship between neighborhood environments and child well-being. However, most of this research is written from the perspective of single female-headed households. While these studies have generated important findings, there is still much to learn as it relates to how neighborhood environments impact father involvement and child well-being. Therefore, the proposed study examines the ways in which neighborhood environments influence the child-rearing practices of low-to-middle income African American fathers, using a mixed methods approach. A mixed methods approach is necessary to link exploratory qualitative data to the aggregate conditions of the neighborhoods in which the fathers and their children reside. Findings that emerge from the proposed study will allow family scholars and practitioners to better understand how neighborhood contexts influence African American fathers’ parenting framework. Recognizing the important family and community roles of African American fathers will allow for significant advancements in the promotion of child well-being, help prevent child maltreatment, and aid in the creation of a durable urban policy agenda.