261456 "Man Up" Moments: Perceptions of Fathers' Involvement during Pregnancy in a Black Community

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Natalie Rella, BA , College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Adejoke Ogunrinde, MBBS , College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Erica Coates, BA , College of Arts and Sciences, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Jamila Seaton, BS , College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Atalie Ashley-Gordon, BA , College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Robert Lucio, PhD , Department of Community and Family Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
In Hillsborough County, Florida, the rate of infant mortality among Black populations is four times higher than their White counterparts. Research suggests that external factors, (e.g. stress), impact mothers' and fetuses' health status. Paternal involvement (PI) improves poor birth outcomes; however, little is known about the mechanism through which PI during pregnancy may improve outcomes. Identifying community-specific contexts is essential in developing culturally appropriate research questions and intervention strategies to address infant health disparities.

Utilizing a Community-Based Participatory Research approach, we sought to describe the language used to characterize PI, expectations the Black community has regarding PI, and types of support desired from fathers. Thirty-eight residents (>18yrs), recruited from the East Tampa community, participated in 10 focus group sessions. Transcribed sessions were entered into an ATLAS.ti database for content analysis. Five major thematic domains emerged: support, responsibility, relationship, barriers, and other related themes. Themes describing physical and emotional support and support from others were reported by over 80% of participants. Responsible actions, commitment, and parental cooperation were reported by over 70% of participants, and 87% of participants reported other related themes.

Participants reported multilevel support, responsible actions, and parental cooperation to be critical when describing PI. Other themes associated with PI included fathers' upbringing and pregnancy intention. A limitation of this study was the small sample size of men (n = 14). Implications for research and practice include further exploration of parental cooperation and pregnancy intention, development of father-friendly programs, and provision of father-specific mentorship and support services.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the process of Community Based Participatory Research approach applied to a formative assessment. Identify five major domains expectant or recent African American mothers and fathers in Tampa, Florida utilized most frequently to describe paternal involvement. Based on the study findings, discuss implications for future research and practice regarding: A) Positive pregnancy outcomes and paternal involvement among African American mothers and fathers B) Father-specific programs and support services related to paternal involvement among African Americans.

Keywords: Family Involvement, Pregnancy Outcomes

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a graduate-level student researcher. I am the principle investigator of the project. I am currently a Masters of Public Health candidate at the University of South Florida in the College of Public Health in the Department of Community and Family Health with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health. My research interests include pregnancy intention, paternal involvement, and social determinants of health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.