Global Healthcare Trends for Adolescents: Evaluation Outcomes of the Newark New Jersey Best Friends/Best Men Adolescent Family Life Intervention Program and Implications for Nursing Practice, Education and Research

Thursday, 16 July 2009: 10:30 AM

Kathleen A. Sternas, PhD, RN1
Mary Ann Scharf, EdD1
Janet Summerly, BSN, MSN, RN1
RoseMarie Peterkin, MAT2
1College of Nursing, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ
2Newark Best Friends and Best Men, Friends and Families United, Inc, Newark, NJ

Learning Objective 1: 1. Identify global health care trends reported in national/international research literature which focus on risky behaviors that affect adolescent health,namely,drug/alcohol use, smoking,STD's/HIV/AIDS,and teenage pregnancy.

Learning Objective 2: 2. Describe an evidence-based intervention,the Newark NJ Best Friends/Best Men Adolescent Family Life Program,which reduces risky behaviors, promotes abstinence and enhances adolescent health.

Purpose: Global trends indicate there are high rates of risky behaviors among adolescents which affect health. Newark has high rates of adolescent drug/alcohol use, smoking, STD's/HIV/AIDS, and teen pregnancy. This presentation: describes outcomes of the Best Friends/Best Men Adolescent Family Life intervention program which promotes abstinence from smoking, drinking, drugs, sex in teenagers; compares outcomes of intervention and comparison participants (no intervention).  Bandura's Social Learning/Piaget's Cognitive Development theories guided the intervention which focused on discussions, mentoring, health/fitness classes, cultural events, community service, recognition.

Methods: Pretest post-test design. Four intervention schools (N=269,183 girls/86 boys) and five comparison schools (N=220,123 girls/97 boys) participated. Intervention participants were randomly selected. Comparison participants were a convenience sample. Comparison and intervention schools were matched on demographic variables. Instruments: AFL Core Baseline/Follow-up and Demographic Questionnaires.  Pearson Chi Square and Mann Whitney U statistical tests and .05 level of significance were used.

Results: Significantly more intervention than comparison participants reported:saying no to wrong activities(p=.005); more confidence(p=.009)/ bright future (p=.009); important to remain abstinent (p<.001)and future spouse to remain abstinent until marriage(p<.001); abstinence is way to avoid pregnancy/STDs/related health problems(p=.002). Significantly more comparison than intervention participants reported: friends that drink(p=.009); tried marijuana/other drugs(p=.026). Comparison girls were higher than intervention girls on: friends tried marijuana/drugs(p=.027); little control(p=.008).More comparison than intervention boys reported: friends who drink(p=.05); not talking with parents/guardians about saying no to alcohol/drugs/sex (p=.006). Intervention participants were significantly higher at post-test than pretest on:saying no to wrong activities (p=.001); staying away from trouble (p=.003); self-confidence (p<.001); no sex until marriage (p=.001).

Conclusion: Intervention participants demonstrated positive outcomes including fewer risky behaviors like drinking/drug use and more abstinence attitudes/behaviors than comparison participants. Findings have implications for nursing practice, education and research and development of intervention programs which aim to reduce risky behaviors/promote abstinence attitudes/behaviors in adolescents.