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868. Engaging Fathers to Increase Physical Activity in Girls: The “Dads And Daughters Exercising and Empowered” (DADEE) Randomized Controlled Trial

Research Article
Authors: Morgan, P.J., Young, M.D., Barnes, A.T., Eather, N., Pollock, E.R. and Lubans, D.R.
May 2018

Commentary by: Professor Ron Plotnikoff, PhD, The University of Newcastle

This study presents the outcomes of a highly-innovative physical activity intervention which co-targets dads and daughters. The DADEE (Dads And Daughters Exercising and Empowered) program taught fathers evidence-based, strategies to improve their daughters’ sports skills and physical activity levels. Sessions also highlighted the unique and powerful influence of dads with a large focus on gender equity and empowering girls. Daughters also learnt key social-emotional skills, while fun co-activity sessions focused on rough and tumble play, sports skills and aerobic and muscular fitness.

This paper highlights positive findings from a randomised controlled trial with 115 fathers and 153 primary school-aged girls. Significant improvements were achieved in both daughters' and fathers' physical activity levels and screen-time behaviours; daughters' sport skill proficiency and a range of fathers’ parenting practices which were sustained 6-months after the completion of the program This study appears to be the first experimental evidence, internationally, of the significant role fathers play in improving physical activity behaviours in girls.

Source: Annals of Behavioral Medicine

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