The development and pilot testing of the ¡Haz Espacio para Papi! program physical activity curriculum for Mexican-heritage fathers and children


Background: Physical activity (PA) is linked to many health benefits. However, many children and adults do not meet PA recommendations. Specifically, Mexican-heritage (MH) families are less physically active and at greater risk for obesity and related co-morbidities than the general population. Culturally-tailored programs are needed to support MH families in healthy PA behaviors.

Purpose: This article describes creation and pilot testing of ¡Haz Espacio para Papi! (Make Room for Daddy!), a PA curriculum tailored for MH families.

Methods: Academic-based and promotora-researchers developed a six-week curriculum including weekly interactive lessons provided on weekends and take-home challenges focused on father-child co-participation in light-to-moderate PA. Participating families consisted of child (aged 9-11), mother, and father. Weekly telephone calls were placed to adult participants to secure qualitative evaluation data.

Results: Most families reported trying program activities at home between sessions. Families reported spending time together as the most valuable part of the program, specifically engaging in father/child activities. Very few families reported suggestions to change program.

Discussion: Positive responses by families speak to the success of culturally and contextually tailoring this curriculum to MH families.

Translation to Health Education Practice: This curriculum provides evidence of a culturally and contextually tailored program for MH families.

American Journal of Health Education