¡Haz Espacio Para Papi!: Development of a Father-Focused, Family-Centered Program to Prevent Obesity and Strengthen Families
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It is widely recognized that behavior change in children occurs within a family system. Our formative work during the program development phase utilized a mixed-methods approach to examine perspectives of children, mothers, and fathers on dietary and activity behaviors and intra-family communication and active engagement. Fig. 1 shows the sequence of activities that described the importance of engaging fathers in programs to improve family health. We describe the development and planned deployment of Familias Saludables, a skill-based curriculum that is a culturally and contextually appropriate, father-focused and family-centered. This multiple-component intervention engages Mexican-heritage fathers, mothers, and children (age 9-11 years) in an experiential, Spanish-language curriculum to enhance father-child relationships and co-parenting strategies; increase knowledge, skills, self-efficacy, and preferences regarding nutrition and physical activity; and delivers this intervention in a group setting. ¡Haz espacio para papi! [Make room for daddy!] is a game changer by engaging Mexican-heritage fathers, co-parenting couples, and children in a family-centered intervention.