Impacts of Four Title V, Section 510 Abstinence Education Programs. Outcome Variables


All outcome measures were based on data from the final follow-up survey. These measures fall into two categories (Table III.3):

  1. Measures of Risk Behavior and Behavioral Consequences. These include the measures that are most central to the evaluation, including whether youth remained abstinent, expected to abstain in the future, and engaged in unprotected sex (Table III.3; top panel). They also include measures of potential consequences of teen sexual activity, such as pregnancy or reported STDs, and important behavioral correlates of teen sexual activity, such as alcohol and drug use.
  2. Measures of Potential Mediators (Knowledge and Perceptions). Several potentially important mediators of teen sexual behavior, shown in the lower panel of Table III.3, were not available until the final follow-up survey. Therefore, along with the measures of risk behavior and behavioral consequences, they are also a main focus of this final impacts report. This new set of measures spans two broad categories: knowledge and perceptions. Measures of knowledge include the ability of youth to identify STDs, their understanding of potential risks of unprotected sex, and their knowledge of potential health consequences of STDs. Measures of perceptions focus on whether youth believe condoms or birth control pills are effective for preventing pregnancy and STDs.

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