With generous support from Port Waratah Coal Services, Hunter Children’s Research Foundation and Hunter Medical Research Institute, the DADEE program was developed in 2013.

DADEE is the first study internationally to target the father-daughter relationship to improve girls’ self-esteem and physical activity.  

DADEE Pilot Program (2013-2015)

Phase 1 of the DADEE research saw the development and testing of the DADEE program with 115 fathers and 153 daughters at the University of Newcastle, using a rigorous randomised controlled trial (RCT) design.

Impressive results were achieved across a range of domains for families including:

  • Dads and daughters became more physically active
  • Daughters greatly improved their sport skill proficiency, including improvements in kicking, throwing, catching, striking and bouncing
  • Daughters demonstrated greatly improved resilience and social-emotional skills such as self-awareness, social awareness, self-regulation, goal-directed behaviour and optimistic thinking
  • Dads improved their parenting practices and became more involved and engaged with their daughters
  • Both fathers and daughters reported an improved closeness and warmth in their relationship

Importantly, these improvements were all maintained 6 months after the DADEE program finished!

Dads and daughters also reported a very high level of satisfaction with the program, rating DADEE at 4.9/5 (where 1 = poor and 5 = excellent).

DADEE Community Randomised Controlled Trial (2016-2017)

The next phase of our research saw evaluation of the DADEE program with 157 Dads and 193 Daughters when delivered by trained facilitators in local Newcastle communities. 

Preliminary results from this DADEE Community RCT have indicated that fathers and daughters achieved comparable improvements in physical activity behaviours to those in the pilot RCT, even though the program was delivered by trained local facilitators rather than the highly qualified research team.

DADEE Community Roll Out (2017-2019)

The community roll out phase of DADEE will see the program delivered annually by trained facilitators in the Newcastle region, to over 200 dads and 250 daughters.

The DADEE research team will continue to investigate the impact of the program for dads and daughters on a range of physical; social-emotional wellbeing and parenting measures.

The DADEE team will also further develop the University of Newcastle elective course which educates pre-service teachers in the ethos of the DADEE program and enables students to become actively involved in delivery of the program in the community and complete a course to become an accredited program facilitators. Researchers will investigate the impact of this course on pre-service teachers skills and knowledge and understanding of gender equality in the physical activity setting.

Testimonials from a few of the dads participating in the 2016-2017 Community Trial:

"Put simply, for me it was life changing. Emphasising the importance of Fundamental Movement Skills and activity levels in girls, and the vital role a dad plays in that. We will forever be grateful for the many lessons learnt and will be more active as a family and I will be a better parent as a result."

"DADEE was the parenting hand book I never received! I found all aspects about exercise and empowerment relevant and motivating. Now I have a stronger relationship with my daughter."

"DADEE gave me a lot of food for thought and challenged my thoughts on the importance of female sport skills. The program has shifted my focus on pre-conceived parenting ideas. I now feel closer to my daughter, more aware and in tune with her needs. Great program."

"The entire DADEE program is very unique and should be given to every parent who is about to have a baby girl, before they pinkifiy their new bedroom. I am serious about this, it is essential knowledge for all parents."

"Sometimes you forget just what a privilege the parenting journey is - DADEE really made me think about how easy it is to fall into gender traps with girls, so learning how to challenge the typical assumptions' was the best thing I took from the course."




We are looking for dads and their daughters

Are you a dad who wants to spend quality time with your daughter participating in fun physical activities, whilst learning how to improve her sport skills, confidence, self-esteem and resilience?

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