Latino Fathers’ Perspectives and Parenting Practices Regarding Eating, Physical Activity, and Screen Time Behaviors of Early Adolescent Children: Focus Group Findings

Youjie Zhang, Ghaffar A Hurtado, Rafael Flores, Antonio Alba Meraz, Marla Reicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Involvement of Latino fathers in food and activity parenting practices has implications for child obesity prevention yet remains largely unknown. Objective: To explore Latino fathers’ perspectives and parenting experiences regarding early adolescents’ eating, physical activity, and screen-time behaviors using the focus group method. Design: Twenty-six fathers (primarily Mexican-American men) of 10- to 14-year-old children participated in one of four focus groups between March and October 2016. Focus groups were conducted in Spanish by male moderators. Participants/settings: A convenience sample was recruited from three community centers and one charter school in Minneapolis/St Paul, MN. Analysis: Audiotaped focus groups were transcribed verbatim in Spanish and translated to English; transcripts were coded and analyzed for themes based on the grounded theory approach. Results: Three themes emerged including 1) paternal beliefs and concerns about early adolescents’ diet, physical activity, and screen time; 2) paternal food and activity parenting practices; and 3) factors that may influence paternal involvement in promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors. Father-reported food and activity parenting practices included setting expectations and limits, role modeling, managing availability and accessibility, teaching and reasoning, monitoring, motivating, and doing things together. Factors influencing paternal involvement were identified at intrapersonal, interpersonal, and social-environmental levels, which included paternal dietary and activity behaviors, self-efficacy, time and financial constraints, parental congruency, child resistance, perceived gender role, and environmental challenges. Conclusions: Fathers identified eight major food and activity parenting practices they use to promote a healthy lifestyle for their adolescent children and factors that influence their involvement. Health care professionals can use this information to provide culturally appropriate and specific interventions for Latino American fathers of young adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2070-2080
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Volume118
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Richard A. Krueger, PhD, for providing focus group training sessions and suggestions on improving focus group questions. The authors would like to acknowledge Misty Blue, MS; Patricia Arellano Brazys; Silvia Alvarez de Davila, PhD; Isabel Lopez, MS; Mary Marczak, PhD; Laura Perdue, MS; Katia Lopez-Petrovich, MS; Karen Shirer, PhD; and Maria Villarraga, MS, for their contributions to planning and implementing the focus group interviews. The authors would like to thank community agencies (Neighborhood House and Centro Tyrone Guzman) and the father advisory group for their involvement and support. G. A. Hurtado, M. Reicks, and Y. Zhang designed the study. G. A. Hurtado, R. Flores, and A. Alba-Meraz collected the data. M. Reicks and Y. Zhang analyzed the data (with review of coding and themes by G. A. Hurtado, R. Flores, and A. Alba-Meraz) and prepared the manuscript. G. A. Hurtado, R. Flores, and A. Alba-Meraz reviewed the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Keywords

  • Early adolescent
  • Fathers
  • Focus group
  • Food and activity parenting practices
  • Latinos

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