Background: The maternal mortality rate is still high in Indonesia and has not significantly decreased, including in Central Java. One indirect cause of maternal death is low husband involvement in improving mother and child health (MCH). This is due to cultural barriers and a lack of knowledge about the MCH problems. Therefore, this research aims to examine the significant factors influencing men’s involvement in MCH. We recommend an appropriate intervention model to engage them in MCH, primarily for their families and communities.

Method: This explanatory research study was conducted using a cross-sectional design involving 400 men. They were selected using multistage proportional random sampling technique from four districts in rural Central Java. The data were collected with trained enumerators using a self-administered questionnaire tested for validity and reliability. Univariate statistics, bivariate statistics using Chi-Square tests, and multivariate analysis (logistic regression) were used to analyse the data.

Results: About half of the men had sufficient knowledge, positive attitudes, and high involvement in MCH, specifically during childbirth compared to pregnancy and the postpartum period. Having experienced their wives being pregnant two or more times and having support from religious leaders, health personnel, and family were the significant factors that influenced a higher level of men’s involvement in MCH.

Conclusion: We recommend that men need MCH education that is based on their socio-cultural beliefs and facilitated by religious leaders.