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¡Haz Espacio Para Papi!: Development of a Father-Focused, Family-Centered Program to Prevent Obesity and Strengthen Familie

      Objective: To develop and pilot a culturally and contextually appropriate, family-centered intervention focused on engaging Mexican-heritage fathers, mothers, and children in an experiential, Spanish-language curriculum to improve nutrition, increase physical activity, and reduce screen-time. We will describe intervention development, building on the perspectives of families (fathers, mothers, children) and community advisory boards (CAB).
      Description: We used formative methods to examine perspectives of families and CAB members on dietary and activity behaviors and intra-family communication. These included a 3-session panel series of pláticas (conversations) with children and mothers separately, dyadic interviews with fathers, elicitation surveys of fathers and mothers, regularly CAB discussions, and intervention mapping. A skill-based curriculum was developed using multiple theoretical frameworks to improve dietary and activity patterns, parenting practices, family functioning, and the home environment.
      Evaluation: Data were collected in Spanish, transcribed verbatim, translated into English, and analyzed for 12 groups/36 sessions with children, 7 groups/21 sessions with mothers, dyadic interviews with 31 fathers, and monthly meetings with 3 CABs. Preliminary findings informed the development of an 8-session, group-based (5–6 families) intervention with father-mother-child and father-child activities around healthier dietary and activity behaviors and improve family communication. Using drawings, maps, photos, and narratives, children provided insights on activities, relationships, engagement, and parental co-participation. Mothers used discussions and photos to highlight challenges with father engagement in programs, their desire for increased father engagement and role modeling, and importance of social networks. Fathers acknowledged the value of co-parenting as a team with wife/partner, being willing to step out of their gender roles to please their children, fathers' participation benefiting the family, and enhancing their social networks. CAB discussions focused on strategies for recruitment and retention of fathers in a family-centered program.
      Conclusions and Implications: This study recognizes that behavior change occurs within a family system and develops a skill-based program that simultaneously addresses energy-balance related behaviors and the family. It is a game changer by engaging Mexican-heritage fathers, co-parenting couples, and children in a family-centered intervention.
      Funding: 2015-68001-23234.

      Supplementary Data

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