Jen’nea Sumo, PhD, RN, CNL; Wrenetha Julion, PhD, MPH, RN, CNL, FAAN; Joi Henry, DNP, MSN, RN, CNL; Dawn Bounds, PhD, PMHNP-BC; Original publication date: Oct. 19, 2021; DOI:

Over half of African American (AA) children grow up in single-mother headed households. Strained relationships between co-parents can complicate and potentially thwart efforts for father engagement. Twelve mothers who served as data informants in a randomized control trial of a fatherhood intervention were recruited to describe their experiences co-parenting with nonresident AA fathers in semi-structured interviews. Qualitative descriptive content analysis of the data revealed three major themes that are used to identify innovative ways for researchers, policy makers, and mental health practitioners to support co-parents as they strive to engage in equitable shared parenting.