Background (Background, Rationale, Prior Research, and/or Theory): Latino fathers are generally considered the head of the family with a central role in decision-making; thus can potentially influence children's obesity related lifestyle behaviors.
Objective: To examine the relationship between paternal parenting practices and Latino youth (10–14 years) eating, physical activity, and screen time behaviors.
Study Design, Setting, Participants, Intervention: In a cross-sectional design, Latino father-child dyads (n = 68) completed questionnaires at community centers in the Minneapolis, MN metropolitan area measuring youth dietary intake, weekly moderate-to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) hours and screen-time (ST) hours, and related paternal parenting practices.
Outcome Measures and Analysis: Correlations were examined between both father-reported and child-reported paternal parenting practices and corresponding youth behaviors.
Results: Youth who perceived high paternal expectations for vegetable intake and physical activity reported greater intake frequency (r = 0.30) and weekly MVPA (r = 0.35), respectively. Those who perceived stricter paternal expectations for sugary drink intake and ST reported lower intake frequency (r = -0.57) and weekly ST (r = -0.50), respectively. Youth-perceived paternal role modeling was significantly correlated with intake of fruit (r = 0.39), vegetables (r = 0.33), sugary drinks (r = -0.42) and sweets and salty snacks (r = -0.2), weekly MVPA (r = 0.32), and ST (r = -0.23). Youth-reported paternal provision of foods, physical activity and ST opportunities were correlated with intake of vegetables (r = 0.36), sugary drinks (r = -0.49), sweets and salty snacks (r = -0.26) and fast food (r = -0.25), and weekly MVPA (r = 0.42) and ST (r = -0.28), respectively. Significant correlations between father-reported paternal parenting practices and child behaviors were found only for father-reported paternal role modeling of intake of fruit (r = 0.27), sugary drinks (r = -0.31) and physical activity (r = 0.27), and provision of fruits (r = -0.31) and sugary drinks (r = -0.40).
Conclusions and Implications: Correlations between paternal parenting practices and corresponding child behaviors demonstrate Latino fathers' influence on youth obesity-related lifestyle behaviors.