Latino family-centered, community-based intervention studies to prevent childhood obesity have primarily involved mothers; therefore, little information about father participation is available. A Latino father-focused program to prevent adolescent obesity was conducted with low participation from some fathers.
The study aim was to determine factors associated with fathers’ attendance in an adolescent obesity prevention program.
Study Design, Settings, Participants
Data were from 147 fathers participating in the Padres Preparados, Jóvenes Saludables program, a randomized controlled trial to prevent Latino adolescent (10-14 years) obesity. Eight weekly (2-hour) sessions were conducted in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area (2017-2020). Participants were randomly assigned to intervention or waitlist control groups after baseline data collection.
The program facilitator recorded father presence or absence at each session. Attendance data were used in cluster analysis to identify attendance patterns. Predictor variables were measured at baseline with surveys and via anthropometric measures, including demographics, socioeconomic status, adolescent weight status, adolescent weight concerns, food-related activities with adolescents, family meal frequency, food assistance program participation, family stress, number of children, neighborhood safety, assigned group, site, and session season. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were used to examine associations between attendance patterns and predictor variables after assessing appropriateness for inclusion in regression models.
Three attendance patterns were identified for all fathers: consistently high attendance (52%), declining attendance (18%), and non-attendance (30%). Compared to fathers with a consistently high attendance pattern, fathers with a non-attendance pattern were more likely to be assigned to the waitlisted control group (OR: 7.9 [95% CI: 2.6-23.9]; P < 0.01) and have lower household income (OR: 2.8 [95% CI: 1.0-7.8]; P = 0.04). No predictors were associated with declining attendance compared to consistently high attendance.
Maintaining contact with control families during waiting periods and providing online sessions to increase flexibility for low-income families could address Latino father non-attendance.