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PRC Project Description

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Improving Adolescent Health Through Enhanced Father-Son Relationships


Host Institution
University of Michigan (previous center): Prevention Research Center of Michigan

Health Topics
Healthy youth | Sexual health | Substance abuse prevention | Tobacco prevention and control | Violence prevention

The Fathers and Sons program, a partnership of the prevention research center, the local health department, and eight community organizations, is designed to improve relationships between African American boys aged 8 to 12 years and their nonresident fathers. Researchers anticipate that frequent and positive father-son contact will increase healthy behaviors among both the fathers and sons and reduce or prevent risk behaviors such as alcohol, drug, and tobacco use; violent behavior; and early sexual initiation among the boys. The program, characterized by three themes (effective communication, cultural awareness, and skill building) includes a 15-session curriculum, a facilitator training manual, and a community resource guide. Group sessions offer a safe setting in which to practice skills and learn about diversity, communication, relationships, health, and other related topics, and to share experiences with other people facing similar challenges. During the program, fathers and their sons spend about 45 hours together. Researchers are evaluating the program’s effect on health-risk behaviors, satisfaction with family relationships, and other areas.
Research Setting
No specific focus
Race or Ethnicity
Black or African American
Men or boys
Age Group
Children (4-11 years) | Adolescents (12-17 years) | Adults (25-49 years)
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Principal Investigator
Cleopatra Caldwell

Project Identifier
Core Project (1998-2004)

Funding Source
PRC Program

Project Status
Not active