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Replicating the Safer Sex Intervention: 9-Month Impact Findings of a Randomized Controlled Trial

Meredith Kelsey, Jessica T. Walker, Jean Layzer, Cristofer Price, and Randall Juras


October 17, 2016
Abt staff co-author this article based on a study to test the effects of the Safer Sex Intervention (SSI) on female adolescents’ sexual behavior and possible antecedents of behavior such as sexual health attitudes, knowledge, motivation, intentions, and skills.

A randomized controlled trial compared SSI (n = 1196) with no intervention (n = 613) among female adolescents aged 13 to 20 years at 3 sites across the United States from 2012 to 2015. Intent-to-treat impacts were estimated at 9 months after baseline, overall, and for key subgroups.

The results show that compared with control participants, SSI participants were less likely to have sexual intercourse without birth control, more likely to report positive attitudes toward protection and intention to use condoms, and more confident of their ability to refuse sex. SSI did not affect sexual risk knowledge or motivation to delay childbearing. Positive impacts on sexual behavior and sexual risk were observed among key subgroups of youths who were aged 18 years or older, Hispanic, not sexually experienced at baseline, and enrolled at the Minnesota site. SSI produced meaningful changes in sexual behavior and sexual risk and successfully addressed some potential antecedents of sexual risk behavior.

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