Influence of Latinx Fathers' Behaviors, Cognitions, Affect, and Family Congruence on Youth Energy Balance-Related Health Outcomes

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For decades, researchers have studied and theorized about the ways fathers interact with children and other members of the family. While this research provides important evidence, few father involvement studies have included Latinx fathers. Numerous father involvement conceptual frameworks have helped us understand the ways fathers interact with their families. Much of this research has focused on fathers' behaviors, but research suggests other domains need more investigation, such as fathers' cognitions and affect. Understanding these additional domains of father involvement can provide important evidence for understanding the ways fathers influence the health of children.

Fathers influence the health of their children within different cultural and socio-political contexts. When considering Latinx father involvement within a social determinants of health approach, research has encouraged focusing on upstream factors that can contribute to the health of Latinx families. Addressing these upstream factors can shape the health and wellbeing of children. Currently, Latinx youth suffer disproportionately from obesity compared to all other racial and ethnic groups in the U.S.

Through investigating Latinx father involvement, I fill an important gap by researching the extent to which Latinx fathers' affect, behaviors, and cognitions shape youth health outcomes. I also investigate theorized moderators that may influence the relationship between fathers' involvement and youth health outcomes. Using a cross sectional study design with a community-based sample of Latinx fathers and youth (ages 10-14) (n=193), I use latent moderation structural analyses to test the theorized causal mechanisms.