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Title:Dads matter: examining paternal involvement as a predictive factor in healthy birth outcomes in African American families
Author(s):Kelly, Kelsie Denee
Director of Research:Alston, Reginald
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Alston, Reginald; Dinah-Tabb, Karen
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Graber, Kim; Farner, Susan; Mendenhall, Ruby
Department / Program:Kinesiology & Community Health
Discipline:Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Paternal involvement
healthy birth outcomes
African Americans
infant health
African American families
Abstract:The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the role African American fathers' play in healthy birth outcomes and explore the role of residential status on paternal involvement. The analyses are based on data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study and focus groups with recent and expectant fathers from the Champaign-Urbana community in the state of Illinois. The overarching research hypothesis guiding this study is that African American involved fathers will increase healthy birth outcomes among their partners because they act as a buffer to maternal stress and unhealthy behaviors that influence adverse birth outcomes. This dissertation includes five chapters. Chapter 1 is the introduction where the research questions are introduced and a discussion of health disparities in African-Americans as well as terms used throughout the subsequent chapters. Chapter 2 is the literature review and introduction to the theoretical framework. This chapter details the existing literature that supports the principles of the theory and hones in on the specific levels utilized for the current study. Chapter 3 is the methods section. It includes three specific aims to better understand the significance of paternal involvement on healthy birth outcomes. The aims include: (1) explore the relationship between neighborhoods, perceptions and involvement (2) explore the role of quality of communication and involvement and (3) explore residential status [resident/non-resident] of African-American men and involvement using both the FFCWS and focus groups. Chapter 4 presents the findings and analysis of the aims. The findings confirm that paternal involvement can be characterized beyond birth certificate status. The findings provide implication for policy formation, interventions and development of prenatal programs that includes a comprehensive paternal component in order to fully characterize paternal involvement. These implications are discussed in Chapter 5 of this dissertation.
Issue Date:2016-07-14
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/93057
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Kelsie Kelly
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-10
Date Deposited:2016-08


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