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Scalability of an Evidence-Based Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program: New Evidence From 5 Cluster-Randomized Evaluations of the Teen Outreach Program

Kimberly Francis, Susan Philliber, Eric R. Walsh-Buhi, Ashley Philliber, Roopa Seshadri, and Ellen Daley


October 17, 2016
Abt's Kimberly Francis is first author of this study conducted to determine if the Teen Outreach Program (TOP), a youth development and service learning program, can reduce sexual risk-taking behaviors compared with a business as usual or benign counterfactual.

The authors synthesized results of 5 independent studies conducted in 5 geographically and ethnically diverse locations between 2011 and 2015 with 17 194 middle and high school students. Each study cluster-randomized classes, teachers, or schools to treatment or control groups and included the students enrolled in those clusters at baseline in an intent-to-treat analysis. Multilevel models tested impacts on recent sexual activity, recent unprotected sexual activity, and sexual initiation among the sexually inexperienced at baseline at approximately 1 and 2 years after baseline.

There was little evidence of the effectiveness of TOP in reducing sexual risk-taking behaviors. Results underscored the importance of continually evaluating evidence-based programs that have previously been shown to be effective.

Read the article.

North America