Impacts of Four Title V, Section 510 Abstinence Education Programs. Changes in Friends Support for Abstinence Over Time

04/13/2007

Support for abstinence among friends also fell substantially between the two follow-up surveys (Figure VI.3).  Based on a scale measure ranging from 0 to 5, youth in the control group averaged a score of 3.50 at the time of the initial follow-up survey.  This is equivalent to youth reporting that three to four of their five closest friends had attitudes or behaviors supportive of abstinence.  By the time of the final follow-up survey, this measure fell sharply to a mean score of 1.96, indicating that on average fewer than half of their friends held attitudes supportive of abstinence.

Figure VI.3.
Peer Support for Abstinence Over Time

Peer Support for Abstinence Over Time. See text for explanation.

Sources:  Wave 2 and Wave 4 Surveys of Teen Activities and Attitudes (Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., 2000, 2005) administered to youth 6 to 12 months and 42 to 78 months, respectively, after enrollment in the Title V, Section 510 Abstinence Education Program study sample.

***p-value (of change shown) < 0.01; **p-value < 0.05; *p-value < 0.10, two-tailed test.

 

Youth in the program group reported a similar decline in friends support for abstinence, and the program had no impact on this measure, either in the short or longer term.  At the time of the initial follow-up survey, youth in the program group reported slightly higher peer support for abstinence than those in the control group  a mean of 3.58 compared to 3.50  but the difference was not significant at conventional levels (p-value = 0.15).  By the time of the final follow-up survey, friends support had fallen slightly more among program group youth than control group youth, resulting in nearly identical levels of support between the two groups.

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