The purpose of this project was to examine how youth development (YD) strategies in conjunction with abstinence education may affect adolescents’ sexual decision making. The Urban Institute (UI) explored the relationship between YD activities and the prevention of sexual risk taking. Through this undertaking, UI also examined the evaluability of several Adolescent Family Life (AFL) grantees. The project conducted a literature review, a document review, and site visits to AFL projects to gather information. The UI also utilized feedback from AFL Project Officers to augment information for this report. The literature review identified several programs that demonstrated direct effects of YD approaches on sexual risk taking or on antecedents to sexual risk taking behaviors. All of these programs were clear in their interventions and conducted short and long-term evaluations. The project also found that several AFL grantees identified the use of specific YD strategies in their programming. The predominant theme of the programs was a total integration of YD approaches with the abstinence education components. This comprehensive approach makes it difficult to extract the YD strategies for individual evaluation. The UI recommends that the AFL projects submit more specific and intensive End of Year reports, thereby helping programs to better identify successes and failures. The project also recommends that individual programs should enhance their evaluations and the OAPP should conduct a cross-site evaluation.
PIC ID: 8242; Agency Sponsor: OPHS-OPA, Office of Population Affairs; Federal Contact: Roper, Allison, 240-453-2806; Performer: Urban Institute, Washington, DC