Friday, July 13, 2007
This presentation is part of : Models of Child and Adolescent Health
Comparison of Outcomes of participant and control groups: Program to prevent pregnancy and encourage school success
Hazel N. Brown, EdD, RNC, CNAA, School of Nursing, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, USA and Rebecca B. Saunders, PhD, RNC, Graduate School, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, USA.
Learning Objective #1: describe an original primary pregnancy program for adolescents at high risk for pregnancy.
Learning Objective #2: compare the outcomes of program participants with like members of a control group

Purpose:  The purpose was to evaluate the effectiveness of a program designed to: (1) explore the effectiveness of providing social support and enhancing self-esteem in improving health outcomes for adolescent girls at high risk for pregnancy and school drop-out, and (2) determine the usefulness of social support and self-esteem as predictors for the occurrence of pregnancy. Primary health outcomes were for participants to avoid pregnancy, graduate from high school, and enroll in college.


Method:  During the past 9 years the College Bound Sisters (CBS) program has had 91 participants in the intervention group and 70 in the control group between the ages of 12 and 16 years on admission, who were younger sisters of adolescent mothers, and never pregnant. Intervention group members attended weekly 90 minute educational meetings on the college campus. Both groups were interviewed initially, six months later, then annually to obtain personal and demographic information and measures of self-esteem and perception of social support.  


Findings: Using t-tests for comparisons, the groups were statistically equivalent at baseline. Using odds ratios, control group members were found to be three times more likely to get pregnant and three times more likely to drop out of school than participants.  High school graduate participants were twice as likely to enroll in college as control group graduates.  Self-esteem remained constant and social support increased for the intervention group. Self-esteem dropped and perceived social support decreased for the control group. Providing social support and enhancing self-esteem yielded one significant predictor: girls who maintained or increased their perception of support were more likely to avoid pregnancy and remain in school than those who perceived declining support.


Discussion:  Nursing interventions planned to cultivate peer support is an important strategy in helping this group achieve their goals of avoiding pregnancy, completing high school and enrolling in college.