Role of African-American fathers in child-rearing and oral health practices in an inner city environment - A brief communication

Hillary Broder, Susan Reisine, Robert Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study assesses parenting behaviors, health behaviors and attitudes in a sample of disadvantaged African-American fathers and evaluates the potential of fathers as recipients of oral health promotion interventions. Methods: Participants were 60 African-American fathers whose children were enrolled in a childhood caries prevention study at Women and Infant Child Program (WIC) (n=25) or who were members of a Young Fathers' Program (n=35) at an urban health center. Demographic factors, oral health knowledge, dental self-efficacy, parenting behaviors, readiness to change, and health promotion behaviors were assessed. Results: Participants averaged 30.8 years of age (sd=8.6); children averaged 2.1 years (sd=0.9). Half of the fathers always have lived with their own children and 92% had regular physical contact with their children. Almost half of the sample reported 'fair/poor' oral health status, while less than 25% reported 'fair/poor' general health. Fathers had high oral health knowledge scores (X=7.7 correct of 9 items), and high readiness for change scores at the action stage (X=12.2 of 15; sd=1.9). dental self-efficacy scores were moderate (X=15.7 of 24; sd=5.5). Half of the fathers shared or had sole responsibility for brushing their children's teeth; 90% report children's teeth were brushed daily. Conclusions: African- American fathers participated in childrearing and oral health promotion behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-143
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of public health dentistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006


  • African-American fathers
  • Early childhood caries
  • Oral health knowledge
  • Oral health promotion
  • Parenting behaviors
  • Readiness to change
  • Self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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