Fathers can help sons avoid trouble even if they aren’t under the same roof

Alison Grodzinski Media/News Leave a Comment

A recently published study finds that the Fathers and Sons program improved nonresident African American fathers’ ability to talk with their sons about avoiding risky behaviors, such as early sexual initiation and violent behaviors during late childhood and preadolescence.

The  Fathers and Sons program, developed by Dr. Cleo Caldwell,  strives to improve the parenting confidence and skills of nonresident fathers and prevent youth violent behaviors. The program is currently being implemented as one of six community interventions in the Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center and was developed as a core project of the Prevention Research Center of Michigan.

The program involved African American fathers and their 8-12 year old sons. The study  is featured in the July/August issue of Child Development.

“After improving fathers’ communication about risky behaviors, aggressive behaviors in their sons decreased,” Caldwell said. “An improvement in fathers’ parenting satisfaction increased their sons’ awareness of their father’s involvement in their lives. This connection was then linked to an increase in the sons’ intentions to avoid violence in the future.”

The program, funded with a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is a partnership involving U-M-SPH, the local health department and several community based organizations in Flint, Michigan.

For more information, see UM News Release: http://www.ns.umich.edu/new/releases/21556-fathers-can-help-sons-avoid-trouble-even-if-they-aren-t-under-the-same-roof