Projects

The PREP Multi-Component Evaluation: Examining a Nationwide Effort to Fund Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Programming

2011–2020

Project Overview

Objective

The evaluation documented how the PREP initiative unfolded nationwide. It also examined the effectiveness of four PREP-funded programs.

Project Motivation

Since PREP was authorized by Congress in 2010, it has funded hundreds of programs nationwide, serving more than 600,000 youth. The PREP Multi-Component Evaluation documented how this large effort unfolded nationally. In addition, to help build the evidence base, the evaluation examined the effectiveness of four PREP-funded programs, each serving a distinct population that had received little attention in teen pregnancy prevention research: (1) rural youth, (2) middle-school boys, (3) adolescent mothers, and (4) youth in alternative school settings.    

Partners in Progress
Child Trends
Public Strategies
Prepared For

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families

The Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) Multi-Component Evaluation documented how the federal PREP initiative unfolded nationwide. It also assessed the effectiveness of four PREP-funded programs using a random assignment research design.

Reducing pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and associated risk behaviors among teenagers has been a long-standing policy concern. Although teen pregnancy rates in the United States have declined, these rates are still high compared with those of other industrialized countries. In addition, the negative consequences of teenage pregnancy, including health and developmental issues for mothers and children, education and employment issues for teen parents, and economic costs for society, can be high.

To help reduce these risks, Congress authorized the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) as part of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services oversees the program. Through PREP, FYSB provides a mix of competitive and formula block grants to U.S. states and local organizations to provide educational programs to adolescents on teen pregnancy prevention and related topics. By supporting these programs, PREP ultimately aims to further reduce rates of teen pregnancy, STIs, and associated sexual risk behaviors, particularly among high-risk youth.

Mathematica's evaluation is documenting how PREP-funded programs operate in the field and assessing selected programs’ effectiveness. It includes three components:

Design and implementation study. Using multiple methods of information collection, we are documenting how state grantees are designing and implementing their programs at the state level.

Performance analysis study. We are developing performance measurement instruments and a system for tracking grantee performance, including integrating the system with the ACF system and providing training and technical assistance to reporting agencies.

Impact and implementation study. Using an experimental design in four sites, we are testing the effectiveness of a range of PREP-funded programs. The impact evaluation includes a baseline survey and follow-up surveys conducted one and two years later. We are also documenting how these sites implement their programs. Initial impact results will be available beginning in 2016. 

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Project Impact

PREP Reaches Far and Wide to Provide Influential Programming to Youth

From 2013 to 2017, PREP has served more than 400,000 youth through nearly 500 multi-component programs to help reduce teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. 

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Related Staff

Robert Wood

Robert Wood

Senior Fellow; Director of Youth and Family Research

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Dana Rotz

Dana Rotz

Senior Researcher

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Lara Hulsey

Lara Hulsey

Senior Researcher

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Jean Knab

Jean Knab

Associate Director         

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Susan Zief

Susan Zief

Senior Researcher

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Brian Goesling

Brian Goesling

Associate Director of Human Services Research

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