Teenage Pregnancy Prevention: Comparison of Outcomes for Teenage Girls and Boys Participating in an Evidence-Based Intervention
Sternas, Kathleen A.
Scharf, Mary Ann
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Session presented on: Thursday, July 25, 2013: Purpose: Global trends indicate high rates of teenage pregnancy in the United States and other developed countries. Early teenage sexual activity and risky behaviors are related to pregnancy, STDs. Teenager risky sexual behaviors are increasing. This presentation describes global perspectives on teenage pregnancy prevention and outcomes for teenage girls and boys in an evidenced-based intervention which promotes reduction in risky behaviors and abstinence from premarital sex. Bandura's Social learning theory guided the intervention on sexuality discussions, mentoring/role modeling, health/fitness classes, cultural events/community service, recognition. Methods: Pretest post-test design. Four intervention schools(n=388; 223 girls/165 boys)/five comparison schools(n=309; 151 girls/158 boys) participated. Participants were 6thto 8th graders. Intervention participants were randomly selected. Comparison participants were a convenience sample. Comparison and intervention schools were matched on demographic variables. Measures: AFL Core Baseline/Follow-up and Demographic Questionnaires. Analysis: Pearson Chi Square, Mann Whitney U statistical tests and .05 level of significance. Results: Post Test II Significantly more intervention than comparison participants reported: important to remain abstinent until marriage(p<.001) and future spouse to remain abstinent(p<.001); premarital sex makes it harder for good marriage(p<.001); abstinence avoids pregnancy, STD's/health problems(p=.047). More comparison participants reported: sex okay if dating long time(p=.045). Significantly more intervention girls than boys reported: dating/party rules(p=.002); asking parents questions about dating/alcohol/drugs(p=.001); saying no to drinking/drugs/sex(p=.01); higher age for alone date(p=.001); remaining abstinent until marriage(p<.001); problem with sex even when no pregnancy results(p=.001). Significantly more intervention boys than girls reported: okay for teens to date older/younger persons(p=.031); sex okay if dating long time(p<.001). Conclusion: Intervention participants, especially girls, have more significant outcomes related to abstinence behaviors and attitudes than comparison participants. Findings suggest the intervention reduces premarital sex and risky behaviors which contribute to teenage pregnancy. Findings have implications for practice, education, research and policy on effective interventions for preventing pregnancy and promoting sexual health in teenagers.