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Teen Pregnancy Prevention Study Finds Benefits


  • Do teen pregnancy prevention programs work with different populations in different settings?
  • Abt used experimental design evaluations to test multiple replications of three widely-used programs.
  • A clinic-based individualized program for female adolescents was successful in changing behavior.
The Challenge

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) wanted to determine if teen pregnancy prevention programs with limited prior evidence of effectiveness can work when replicated with different populations and in different settings. HHS contracted with Abt to design and conduct an evaluation of several widely-used program models to address this question. The evaluation tested three program models in nine study sites.

The Approach

For the Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Replication Study, Abt tested multiple replications of three evidence-based sexual risk prevention program models:

  • Safer Sex Intervention (SSI): A clinic-based HIV/STI prevention program for high-risk adolescent females
  • Reducing the Risk: A sexuality education curriculum
  • ¡Cuídate!: An HIV/Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) risk reduction program

Using a set of experimental designs, the impact study measured effects on behavioral outcomes at two intervals: 6 to 12 months and 18 to 24 months after study enrollment.

The Results

SSI effectively reduced the incidence of unprotected sexual intercourse after nine months. The program had a promising effect on reducing pregnancy over the 18 month period. Compared to non-participants, program participants also reported improvements on intermediate outcomes such as attitudes, intentions and perceptions of skills. 

Reducing the Risk did not change sexual behavior at either point in time, but program participants reported increased knowledge, improved attitudes and improved perceptions of skills.  

¡Cuídate! also did not change sexual behavior at either point in time, but demonstrated positive effects on knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of skills.

For each of the program models, effects also varied by replication site and/or specific subgroups of participants.

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