Recruitment, Retention, and Intervention Outcomes from the Dedicated African American Dad (DAAD) Study

Jul 2021 | Wrenetha Julion, Jen'nea Sumo, Michael E. Schoeny, Susan M. Breitenstein, & Dawn T. Bounds


A significant proportion of African American (AA) fathers live in households apart from their young children. This living arrangement can have detrimental effects for children, families, and fathers. One hundred seventy-eight (n = 178) AA fathers, not residing with their 2–6-year-old children, were enrolled in a randomized trial to test the Building Bridges to Fatherhood (BBTF) program against a financial literacy comparison condition. BBTF is an intervention that was developed collaboratively with a fathers’ advisory council of AA fathers who oversaw all aspects of program development. Based upon advisory council feedback, short video scenes captured fathers interacting with their children, their children’s mothers, and other fathers. These video scenes were used to jump start the discussion around fatherhood, parenting, communication, and problem solving during the intervention group meetings. The actors in the video scenes were recruited from the community. Two trained group leaders, using a standardized group leader manual, delivered the intervention. The Money Smart Financial Literacy Program (MSFLP), which served as the comparator, was also delivered by AA men. Program satisfaction was high in both conditions. Even so recruitment and retention challenges influenced the ability to detect father and child outcomes. This study informs the participation of vulnerable urban AA fathers in community-based fatherhood intervention research and provides insight into bolstering engagement in studies focused on this population.

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