Evaluating a Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program in Rural Kentucky
- Relative to the standard school curriculum, the adapted version of Reducing the Risk did not change the likelihood of having sex or having sex without a condom in the three months before the two-year follow-up survey for the overall sample.
- The program did, however, reduce the likelihood of having sex without a condom in the three months before the two-year follow-up survey for the smaller sample of students who were already sexually active prior to study enrollment.
- For the overall sample, the program increased students’ knowledge of contraception and sexually transmitted infections relative to the standard school curriculum.
- After two years, the program did not change students’ attitudes, refusal skills, communication with parents, or intentions to have sex.
This brief summarizes findings from a random assignment impact study of an adapted version of the Reducing the Risk teen pregnancy prevention curriculum in rural Kentucky. Although rural counties have the highest teen birth rates in the United States, teen pregnancy prevention practitioners and researchers have developed and tested relatively few programs for youth in rural areas. To add to the research on effective pregnancy prevention approaches for youth in rural areas, the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funded a rigorous evaluation of an adapted, eight-hour version of Reducing the Risk in 13 high schools in a primarily rural area of central and southwestern Kentucky. The program was delivered by trained staff from two local health departments in Kentucky with federal grant funding from the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP).