The U.S. has reached its lowest teen pregnancy and birth rate in years,1 but one in eight young women will still become pregnant before turning 20, and almost half of all high school students reported that they had sexual intercourse in 2013.2
In 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched a website (TPPEvidenceReview.aspe.hhs.gov) to provide information on programs that demonstrate favorable, statistically significant impacts on sexual activity, contraceptive use, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), pregnancies, or births among young people 19 years of age or younger. Programs identified on the website are the result of an independent, systematic review of the teen pregnancy prevention literature backed by evaluation studies that have passed a quality bar.
The website provides communities with the resources they need to learn more about evidence-based program models that may be a good fit for their community. From youth development programs to HIV prevention curricula, abstinence approaches to comprehensive sex ed models, service providers can find a program that meets the needs of their community. HHS grant programs, including the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program and the Personal Responsibility Education Program, have used the TPP Evidence Review to fund the use and expansion of evidence-based programs in communities. Researchers can also sort through more than 500 studies that have been identified since the review began in 2009.
The second update to the TPP Evidence Review included recent research (through April 2013) and identified four new programs with evidence of effectiveness, bringing the total number of program models to 35:
- Families Talking Together intervenes with an adolescent’s mother with an intention of reducing sexual risk behavior.
- HIP Teens is a sexual risk reduction intervention for low-income, urban, sexually active adolescent girls.
- Project IMAGE is a cognitive behavioral intervention intended to reduce subsequent STIs among ethnic minority young women with a history of sexual or physical abuse and STIs.
- STRIVE is a family-based intervention intended to reduce sexual risk behaviors, substance use, and delinquency among youth who have recently run away from home.
In addition to identifying new program models with evidence of effectiveness, the updated results also identified two additional evaluation studies of program models that were previously included in the review. Three program models are backed by more than one rigorous evaluation: Be Proud! Be Responsible!, All4You!, and It’s Your Game: Keep it Real.
1 Hamilton, B.E., Martin, J.A., Osterman, M.J.K., & Curtin, S. C. (2014). Births: Preliminary Data for 2013. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Retrieved July 21, 2014, from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr63/nvsr63_02.pdf
2 Welti, K. (2014). Child Trends' analysis of National Vital Statistics System birth data. Washington, DC: Child Trends.