11477 E Avenue
Auburn, CA 95603
Matt is a 4-H Youth Development Advisor for the University of California's Cooperative Extension in northern California (Nevada, Placer, Sutter, and Yuba counties). As a 4-H advisor, Matt implements extension education and applied research programs grounded in positive youth development theory. He also provides expertise regarding volunteer engagement in 4-H and other youth development programs.
In his role, Matt partners and collaborates with youth agencies to expand or incorporate the use of volunteer educators in 4-H, school programs, camps, after school programs, and throughout the community. As an advisor, he works with and provides a point of connection for families and youth, youth development professionals, UC ANR advisors, specialists, and program teams to address positive youth development strategies for volunteer development across all 4-H critical and emergent issues, including science literacy, and healthy living.
Matt earned his PhD from the University of Maryland's School of Public Health in the Department of Family Science. His dissertation, "Influence of Latinx Fathers' Behaviors, Cognitions, Affect, and Family Congruence on Youth Energy Balance-Related Health Outcomes," investigated Latinx father involvement in the context of youth energy balance-related behaviors. During his doctoral training, Matt also supported several USDA-funded research initiatives involving Latinx fathers and youth. His recent publication, "Predictors associated with fathers' successful completion of the FOCUS program," investigated a sample of fathers in Texas who participated in a child welfare parenting intervention.
In addition to his research, Matt is an educator and was the Fall 2021 instructor for the University of Maryland's "Modern Families" introductory family science course (FMSC 170). Topics covered in the course are modern family, marriage and cohabitation, parenthood, public policies, reproductive technologies, LGBTQ families, mass incarceration, socialization of children against racism, immigration, divorce, the economy, COVID-19 vaccine decision-making, resilience, obesity prevention, mental health, and intimate partner violence.
Matt is actively involved in presenting his research at national conferences. He currently co-chairs the Men in Families focus group at the National Council on Family Relations. He was also recently elected as Section Counselor for the American Public Health Association's Health Informatics Information Technology section.
Prior to his doctoral studies, Matt was a professional web developer for several large nonprofits in the mid-west. He and his wife have two children and enjoy spending time together as a family. Matt's roots come from a multicultural family with his ancestry deriving from Puerto Rico, Japan, Nigeria, and England. As such, Matt embraces the importance of cultural diversity and competency in his family science research.
Feel free to contact Matt on social media @MattR_Rodriguez.
SpecialtyFamily science and father-child involvement.
Areas of Expertise (click to see all ANR academics with this expertise)
- Program and Project Design, and Statistics
- Human Development and Family Well-Being
- Sociological and Technological Change Affecting Individuals, Families, and Communities
- Community Insitutions, Health, and Social Services
- Youth Development
- Computer Programming
- Youth Development
- 4-H Program
- Nagao-Sato, Sayaka; Alvarez de Davila, Silvia (2022). Feasibility of a remotely delivered program to prevent Latino adolescent obesity in the Midwestern USA. Health Promotion International. Oxford University Press. 37:4, 1-11.
- Rodriguez, Matthew R.; Hurtado Choque, Ghaffar Ali (2022). Predictors associated with fathers' successful completion of the FOCUS program. Family Relations. Wiley Online Library. 71:3, 1142-1158. January 4.
- Hurtado, G. C.; Rodriguez, M. R. (2019). The Development of a Nutrition Education Mobile Application (Mhealth) for Latino Families: The Padres Preparados, Jóvenes Saludables Experience. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 51:7 Supplement, S72.