Promoting Healthy Futures for Youth: A Program Model for Sexual Risk Avoidance Education
The avoidance of sexual activity among youth ensures the prevention of unplanned teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It can also promote healthy outcomes and contribute positively to the development of youth. Sexual risk avoidance education (SRAE) is a primary prevention approach that educates youth about the benefits of avoiding non-marital sexual activity and other risky behaviors. SRAE also emphasizes the importance of building life skills that promote healthy decision making, personal responsibility, self-regulation, healthy relationships, and goal setting.
This brief describes a program model for implementing sexual risk avoidance programming for youth that is research-based (Inanc et al. 2020) and also informed by the legislation authorizing SRAE grants. Mathematica developed the SRAE program model as part of a portfolio of youth-focused projects on sexual risk avoidance funded by the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and supported by ACF’s Family and Youth Services Bureau and Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation.
The SRAE program model described in this brief identifies key content, strategies, and resources needed to design and implement SRAE programs, and the expected key outputs of implementation related to staff facilitation, curriculum delivery, and youth engagement. It also presents expected short- and longer-term outcomes for youth, along with contextual factors that might influence program implementation. The program model clarifies key elements of SRAE for grant recipients, to ensure their programs align with legislative and program requirements. The model can be used by a variety of audiences to refine curricular products, guide ongoing program improvements and research, and inform future grant opportunities.