African American Fathers’ Perceived Role for the Dietary Behaviors of Their Children: A Qualitative Study

Ledric D. Sherman, Matthew Lee Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study is to investigate African American (AA) fathers’ involvement in promoting healthful decisions related to obesity and the issues that are potentially influencing dietary patterns among their children and within their households. This exploratory study gathered data via semistructured focus groups (n = 3), which were thematically analyzed utilizing a grounded theory approach. Participants included AA fathers (n = 20) with a mean age of 37 years (±11.79), all of which had one or more children between the ages of 6 and 18 years. Three significant subthemes emerged from the focus group sessions, which included fathers’ perspectives about: (a) teaching by example; (b) eating healthy is expensive; and (c) cooking and eating at home. Understanding AA fathers’ perceived and desired role in their children’s health edification can inform initiatives that actively engage these men, and nurture their level of involvement, to promote positive health behaviors among their children. Such efforts are necessary for AA fathers to realize their potential to effectively serve as change agents and actively improve the health of their children, families, and communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Men's Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


  • African American
  • diet
  • fathers
  • health promotion
  • nutrition
  • obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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