NOTE: Descriptions of the following five programs are excerpted from "Preventing Teen Pregnancy: Promoting Promising Strategies: A Guide for Communities," a report by HHS released at a White House press conference on June 13, 1996.
Children's Aid Society's
Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Programs
Approach: Comprehensive, Multi-Faceted
Description: This program looks beyond sex education to the whole child, offering youngsters a variety of opportunities and a broad-spectrum of services as well as positive role models. The seven major components of the program include: career awareness; family and sex education; medical and health services; mental health services; academic assessment and homework help; self-esteem through the performing arts; and fostering lifetime participation in individual sports activities. The Children's Aid Society has another program in Harlem which, in addition to the above, guarantees youth in the program who graduate from high school or get a General Equivalency Diploma admission to New York City's Hunter College.
Goals of the Program: The primary goal of the program is to assist youth in avoiding unintended pregnancy and making responsible sexual decisions.
Location: 10 New York communities and 17 cities across the country
Population Served: Youth ages 10 through 20
Early Findings: For the six New York City sites employing this model, early data show--
- Participants have educational aspirations that are higher than those reported in national samples of high school students.
- Participants have better outcomes four years after entering high school when compared to the New York City public school Class of 1994.
- Participants have substantially lower rates of alcohol use when compared to national samples of adolescents in the same age group.
- Participants are less likely to be sexually active, and those who eventually do become sexually active are more likely to have used contraception when compared to national samples.
Teen Outreach Program
Approach: Life Options
Description: The Teen Outreach Program National Replication and Dissemination Project is managed by the Cornerstone Consulting Group, Inc., and combines curriculum-based, facilitator-guided, small group discussions with volunteer service in the community. Issues addressed in the small group discussions include: self-understanding, communication skills, human growth and development, parenting issues, and family interaction. Some health and sex education is included. Facilitators serve as mentors and link youth to volunteer activities.
Goals of the Program: The program seeks to prevent early pregnancy and encourage school achievement.
Location: Nationwide and in Canada, mostly located in schools
Population Served: Youth ages 11 through 19
Early Findings: Early data show a reduction in teenage pregnancy as well as in school suspension and drop-out rates. The volunteering and classroom curriculum appear to be working although greater site volunteer hours and older students were associated with more positive outcomes.
Contact:The Cornerstone Consulting Group
One Greenway Plaza, Suite 550
Houston, TX 77046
713 623-3006 (fax)
Postponing Sexual Involvement
Approach: Abstinence and Delayed Sexual Initiation
Description: The Postponing Sexual Involvement Curriculum, developed by the Emory University School of Medicine and Grady Memorial Hospital Teen Services Program, provides teens with the skills they need to resist peer pressure and early sexual involvement. The curriculum offers a clear message that favors abstinence and postponing sexual involvement, but also provides information about contraception. Skill-building exercises conducted by slightly older peer educators are key elements of the program.
Goals of the Program: The program provides youth with basic factual information and decision-making skills related to reproductive health. Teenagers in the program gain skills to deal with social and peer pressures that lead them into early sexual involvement.
Location: Atlanta, GA and other sites nation-wide.
Population Served: Youth ages 13 to 14
Early Findings: Compared to non-participants, a significantly smaller proportion of youth participating in the program reported being sexually active by both the 12- and 18-month follow-up periods, even though a slightly higher proportion of the participants had been sexually active before receiving the program's curriculum. The effect on delayed first sexual activity was true for both male and female participants. The impact on delayed sexual activity among females was particularly strong. In addition, the evaluation also found higher contraceptive use among those program participants who were sexually active.
I Have A Future
Approach: Life Options and Opportunity Development
Description: "I Have A Future" is a community-based intervention that uses a comprehensive set of activities to expand life options for high-risk youth living in public housing projects. The focus of the program is on abstinence, community, and self-esteem. The three parts of the program include: equipping adolescents with the basic information they need about health, human sexuality, and drug and alcohol use; providing a comprehensive array of adolescent health services, with a focus on abstinence and a very strong emphasis on parental and community involvement; and assisting young people to enhance their life-options through activities that improve their job skills, self-reliance, values, and self-esteem.
Goals of the Program:
- Developing a replicable community-based, life-enhancement program that promotes a significant reduction in the incidence of early pregnancy and child bearing among high-risk adolescents;
- Improving knowledge, attitudes and behaviors related to personal health and human sexuality; and,
- Enhancing the ability of high-risk adolescents to overcome environmental barriers to attaining the skills necessary to pursue meaningful employment and educational opportunities with the promise of upward mobility.
Location: Public housing projects in Nashville, TN
Population Served: Youth ages 10 through 17
Early Findings: Those who participated in the program had fewer pregnancies, higher self esteem, fewer self-reports of delinquent behaviors, and a greater sense of a promising future. Preliminary analyses of the I Have A Future Program have also found positive effects on intermediate outcomes such as pro-social attitudes, sexual and contraceptive knowledge, self-esteem, perceived life options, and psychosocial maturity, when comparing the active participants to the comparison group of youth from two other public housing projects.
Quantum Opportunities Program
Approach: Life Options and Opportunity Development
Description: The Quantum Opportunities Program (QOP), a four-year demonstration program launched in 1989, was designed to test the ability of community-based organizations to improve the lives of low-income high school students. The project used Opportunities Industrial Centers in five communities to deliver an intensive package of services to youth during the four years of high school. Services included educational activities, community service activities, and development activities to help youth learn more about health issues, arts, careers and college planning.
QOP was a relatively small national demonstration program. At each site, there were 50 students--25 randomly assigned to the project and 25 to a control group. The young people received small stipends for participating in and completing approved activities. The program also established accrual accounts to collect matching funds that youth could use for additional training or education after they graduated from high school. Staff members were also given financial incentives to meet the program's participation goals.
The Ford Foundation and the Department of Labor are currently funding replications of the program.
Goals of the Program: To test the ability of community-based organizations to "foster achievement of academics and social competence among high school students from families receiving public assistance."
Location: Philadelphia, PA; Oklahoma City, OK; San Antonio, TX; Saginaw, MI; and Milwaukee, WI. (Milwaukee was later dropped from the study)
Population Served: Students entering the 9th grade
Early Findings: QOP made significant improvements in the lives of participating youth over a two-year period. Results compiled one year after the program was completed show significant differences between QOP participants and control group members. Specifically, QOP members were more likely to be high school graduates, more likely to be enrolled in secondary schools, less likely to be high school dropouts, and less likely to have children. They were also more likely to be involved in community service, to be more hopeful about the future, and more likely to consider their lives a success.