Background

Healthy Dads Healthy Kids (HDHK) is a lifestyle obesity intervention for dads and children with positive outcomes in Australia. The program is novel as a gender-tailored, father-focused program. Our aim was to examine parents and children’s perspectives for the cultural adaptation of HDHK for Hispanic families in southwestern US.

Methods

44 Hispanic participants (22 dads, 13 moms and 9 children) participated in 1-5 contacts (focus groups, online survey, and/or interviews). The scripts assessed participants’ perceptions of the HDHK content and material using the Ecological Validity Model. Participation was available in English or Spanish. Focus groups and interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, translated, and thematically coded.

Results

80% of parents were foreign-born, 57% spoke only Spanish at home, and 60% did not graduate from high school. Most parents were interested in a program that emphasized dads and children being active together. HDHK objectives resonated with parents, including weight loss for dads.Suggestions were to add emphasis on parenting and limiting children’s screen time. Promotion of familism (inclusion and impact on whole family) was an important theme. Gender roles for moms and dads, and differences in how parents interact with male and female children, emerged. Some wanted greater mom engagement. Weekly videos and a Facebook group emerged as favorite options. A few noted a generational change in how dads interact with their children, compared to their own fathers. Several barriers to engagement arose, including work schedules, physically demanding jobs, concerns of caring for children without mom, dads’ current fitness/weight, and lack of knowledge of how to eat more healthfully. The reading level of the HDHK materials was too high for some parents.

Conclusions

HDHK is being culturally adapted for Hispanic families. The literacy level was simplified. Cultural values were integrated and barriers for participation addressed.