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Replicating Reducing the Risk: 12-Month Impacts of a Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial

Meredith Kelsey, Michelle Blocklin, Jean Layzer, Cristofer Price, Randall Juras, and Lesley Freiman


October 17, 2016
Abt staff co-author this article based on a study to test the effectiveness of Reducing the Risk, an evidence-based sexual health curriculum designed to help prevent adolescent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, on youth sexual behavior and intermediate outcomes thought to lead to these behaviors.

Classes within schools in St. Louis, Missouri; Austin, Texas; and San Diego, California; were randomly assigned to receive Reducing the Risk or “business as usual.” Youths completed Web-based surveys at baseline (preintervention, August 2012–January 2014) and 12 months later (August 2013–January 2015). Intent-to-treat analyses were conducted across sites; we tested for differences in impacts between sites and other subgroups.

The results show that after 12 months, Reducing the Risk was unsuccessful at changing sexual behaviors. Other results were mixed, but promising evidence (e.g., behavioral impacts at 1 site, impacts on intermediate outcomes) suggests potential for more widespread behavioral impacts over a longer term.

Read the article.

North America