Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered was first conceived by Professor Phil Morgan back in 2014 in response to alarming statistics about the significant decline in physical activity seen in adolescent girls in Australia and associated risks to their future physical and psychological health.
Additionally, Phil saw the importance of improving the social and emotional wellbeing of young girls given recent Australian statistics identifying self-esteem issues in teenage girls.
Building on his experience developing the international award-winning Healthy Dads Healthy Kids program and as the father of three girls, Phil knew fathers to be one of the key role models and motivators in a girl’s life:
"Research has consistently demonstrated the unique and powerful influence dads wield in shaping physical activity behaviours, learning ability, self-esteem, body image, social skills and resilience, particularly for girls. Importantly, we also know that a strong father-daughter relationship is associated with significant positive psycho-social developmental and health outcomes for the daughter. Physical activity is a unique domain to foster this relationship" Prof. Phil Morgan
With generous funding from Port Waratah Coal Services and the Hunter Children's Research Foundation, the Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered program was developed and tested under rigorous randomised controlled trial conditions with 115 families at the University of Newcastle in 2015. Phase 2 of the research will see evaluation of the Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered delivered by trained program facilitators in Newcastle communities during 2016-2017.