A new supplement of the American Journal of Public Health out today explores the impacts of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Adolescent Health's Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program. This Journal issue contains expert commentary, research and recommendations based on outcomes from the program's implementation.
The Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program is a national, evidence-based program that funds diverse organizations nationwide working to prevent adolescent pregnancy and associated risky behavior.
This issue compiles papers on the findings from a total of 41 program evaluations. The evaluations assessed the effectiveness of each program in at least one of the following areas: reducing adolescent pregnancy and births, delaying sexual initiation, improving contraceptive use and reducing sexually transmitted infections.
One set of research articles in the issue examines the outcomes from replications of programs that were previously identified as being effective. These programs focused on topics including curriculum to prevent pregnancy, HIV and STIs. The other set of research articles present findings from new and innovative programs that were evaluated for the first time, including a positive youth development program, sexual health and relationship education curriculum and a text-messaging program enhancement.
While several of the evaluations did show positive outcomes, most of the programs had small or insignificant impacts on adolescent behavior. Despite the mixed results, sharing these program evaluations is vital to increasing the knowledge base for adolescent pregnancy prevention research.
"The goal of OAH-funded adolescent pregnancy prevention evaluations is to build our empirical understanding of what works in youth risk reduction," said Eric Jenner, PhD, of the Policy and Research Group in the article "Impact of an Intervention Designed to Reduce Sexual Health Risk Behaviors of African American Adolescents: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial. "These results should provide more opportunity or incentive to learn why the intervention works in some cases and not in others and what conditions are necessary for the desired causal impacts."
"Most importantly, the results from these evaluations provide information about where, when and with whom programs are effective, which is critical for communities to make informed decisions about which programs are the best fit for them," said Amy Feldman Farb, PhD, and Amy L. Margolis, MPH, in the editorial "The Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (2010-2015): Synthesis of Impact Findings."
A full listing of papers included in this supplement of the American Journal of Public Health can be found below.
•Impact of an Intervention Designed to Reduce Sexual Health Risk Behaviors of African American Adolescents: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial
•Scalability of an Evidence-Based Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program: New Evidence From 5 Cluster-Randomized Evaluations of the Teen Outreach Program
•Text Messaging, Teen Outreach Program, and Sexual Health Behavior: A Cluster Randomized Trial
•Replicating ¡Cuídate!: 6-Month Impact Findings of a Randomized Controlled Trial
•Replicating the Safer Sex Intervention: 9-Month Impact Findings of a Randomized Controlled Trial
•Preventing Pregnancy in High School Students: Observations From a 3-Year Longitudinal, Quasi-Experimental Study
•Healthy Futures Program and Adolescent Sexual Behaviors in 3 Massachusetts Cities: A Randomized Controlled Trial
•Impacts of an Enhanced Family Health and Sexuality Module of the HealthTeacher Middle School Curriculum: A Cluster Randomized Trial
•Culturally Responsive Adolescent Pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Infection Prevention Program for Middle School Students in Hawai'i
•Randomized Trials of the Teen Outreach Program in Louisiana and Rochester, New York
•Replicating Reducing the Risk: 12-Month Impacts of a Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial
•A Clustered Randomized Controlled Trial of the Positive Prevention PLUS Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program
•It's Your Game...Keep It Real in South Carolina: A Group Randomized Trial Evaluating the Replication of an Evidence-Based Adolescent Pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Infection Prevention Program
•Impact of Two Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Interventions on Risky Sexual Behavior: A Three-Arm Cluster Randomized Control Trial
•Evaluation of the Be the Exception Sixth-Grade Program in Rural Communities to Delay the Onset of Sexual Behavior
These articles will be published online Sept. 30, 2016, at 4 p.m. EDT by the American Journal of Public Health. This issue is online-only and all articles are open access. The American Journal of Public Health is published by the American Public Health Association, and is available at www.ajph.org.
American Public Health Association (APHA)