Online Program

Effect of family-based intervention on nonresident African American fathers' and sons' relationships and intentions to exercise

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.

Katrina R. Ellis, MPH, MSW, PhD(c), School of Public Health, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Cleopatra Caldwell, PhD, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Shervin Assari, MD, MPH, Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture, and Health, University of Michigan School for Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI
E. Hill De Loney, MA, Flint Odyssey House-Health Awareness Center, Flint, MI
African American males are disproportionately burdened by a number of chronic diseases for which physical inactivity is a risk factor. A life-course perspective suggests that understanding how African American fathers influence their sons' physical activity could lead to improved interventions and better long-term health outcomes; however, many African American fathers do not live in the same residence as their sons. Little is known about the role of these nonresident fathers in supporting the exercise behavior of their sons. The Fathers and Sons Program is a theoretically and cultural based family intervention for non-resident African American fathers and 8-12 year old sons (n=287 dyads). Data from this program was used to examine intervention effects on sons' intentions to exercise. Structural equation modeling indicated that the intervention was successful in improving the exercise intentions of the boys by increasing contact between fathers and sons, improving the quality of their relationship, and increasing fathers' own intentions to exercise. Notably, the intervention's positive effect on exercise intentions was not direct; rather, the positive outcomes observed in sons were a result of the positive changes the intervention had on fathers. There are public health implications of this work. According to the Theory of Planned Behavior, intentions are a strong predictor of actual behavior. The findings suggest that a focus on relational factors may be a key to consider in interventions aimed at improving intentions to exercise among African American boys with nonresident fathers.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe relational factors that influence the physical activity outcomes of African American males; Identify factors to address in interventions that seek to improve the health of nonresident African American fathers and their sons

Keyword(s): Exercise, African American

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently a doctoral candidate interested in family-based interventions. My research interests include how familial factors - such as family relationships - help to shape and influence the health-related behaviors of family members. I was primarily responsible for conducting the statistical analysis for this study. I have been a co-author on previous conference posters, presentations, and academic publications.
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.