Evaluation of an Evidence-Based Intervention to Promote Health of Teenage Girls and Prevent Teenage Pregnancy

Monday, July 11, 2011: 3:45 PM

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

Learning Objective 1: Identify global trends on teenage birth rates and risky behaviors(drug and alcohol use, smoking, sexual activity) reported in the national and international research literature.

Learning Objective 2: Describe outcomes for teenage girls who participated in an evidence-based intervention (Newark NJ Best Friends AFL Intervention), to reduce risky behaviors and prevent teenage pregnancy.

Purpose: Global trends indicate teenage birth rates are higher in the United States than Canada, Sweden and other developed countries. High rates of risky behaviors exist among Newark teenagers including drug/alcohol use, smoking, sexual activity contributing to STD's/HIV/AIDS/ teen pregnancy. This presentation: describes outcomes for girls in an evidenced-based intervention that promotes health by reducing risky behaviors and promoting abstinence from premarital sex; and compares outcomes of intervention and comparison girls. Bandura's Social Learning and Piaget’s theories guided the intervention on sexuality discussions, mentoring, health/fitness classes, cultural events, community service, and recognition.  

Methods: Pretest post-test design. Four intervention schools (n=183 girls) and five comparison schools (n=123 girls) participated. Participants were 6th, 7th, 8th grade girls primarily of African American ethnicity. Intervention participants were randomly selected. Comparison participants were a convenience sample. Instruments: AFL Core Baseline/Follow-up and Demographic Questionnaires. Pearson Chi Square, Mann Whitney U statistical tests and .05 level of significance were used.

Results: Significantly more intervention than comparison girls reported at post-test: dating/party rules(p=.041); saying no to wrong activities(p=.026); important for them (p<.001)/future spouse (p<.001) to remain abstinent; problems with premarital sex even if no pregnancy results (p=.003); abstinence is the way to avoid pregnancy/STD’s/health problems (p=.020). Significantly more comparison than intervention girls reported: questions about body/dating/alcohol/drugs(p=.012); friends who tried marijuana/drugs (p=.027).  Results higher at post test than pretest for intervention girls: hanging out (p=.009)/where I am (p=.044) rules; saying no to wrong activities (p=.019); staying away from trouble (p=.032); self-confidence (p<.001). Results higher at post test for comparison girls: using marijuana/drugs(p=.045).

Conclusion: Intervention girls have more positive abstinence behavior/attitude outcomes than comparison girls. Findings suggest the intervention promotes abstinence, reduces risky behaviors like using drugs. Findings have practice and research implications for development and evaluation of global interventions to reduce risky behaviors and prevent teenage pregnancy.