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Evidence-Based Programs

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Promoting Health Among Teens - Comprehensive Abstinence and Safer Sex Intervention (PHAT-Comprehensive)

Overview of the Intervention

This comprehensive abstinence and safe sex intervention provides youth with information about abstinence, safer sex practices, pregnancy prevention, and the prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It is designed to improve awareness and knowledge about HIV/STIs; increase understanding of how abstinence can prevent pregnancy, STIs, and HIV; strengthen behavioral beliefs that support condom use; and build refusal and negotiation skills for practicing abstinence as well as for effective use of condoms.

The intervention consists of up to 12 modules, delivered over two or three consecutive Saturdays for a period of 8 or 12 hours. Trained facilitators follow the intervention manual to implement the program, which is structured around group discussions, videos, games, brainstorming activities, skill-building, and experiential exercise. Four of the modules are targeted specifically to encouraging abstinence, four are targeted to encouraging condom use, and four cover general content related to HIV/STI knowledge.

Intervention Components

Module Outline:

  • Getting to Know You
  • Exploring and Expressing Sexual Feelings
  • The Consequences of Sex: HIV Infection
  • A Plan to Reduce the Consequences of Sex
  • The Consequences of Sex: STD Infection
  • The Consequences of Sex: Pregnancy
  • STD/HIV Vulnerability
  • Risky Sexual Behavior and Content Review
  • Sexual Responsibility: Abstinence Skills
  • Sexual Responsibility: Safer Sex - Condom Use Skills
  • Enhancing Sexual Responsibility Skills
  • Role-Play: Refusal and Negotiation Skills
  • Target population evaluated:

  • African American students in grades 6 and 7 recruited from four public middle schools serving low-income African American communities in the northeastern United States
  • Mean age 12 years
  • 54% female and 46% male
  • Program setting evaluated: Middle schools in low-income communities

    Theoretical Framework

    Study Citation: Jemmott, J. B., III, Jemmott, L. S., & Fong, G. T. (2010). Efficacy of a theory-based abstinence-only intervention over 24 months: A randomized controlled trial with young adolescents. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 164(2), 152-159.

    Study setting: Saturday program offered to students attending four public middle schools in a low-income African American community in the northeastern United States.

    Study Sample: African American students in grades 6 and 7

  • Mean age 12 years
  • 53% female and 47% male
  • Study Design: Randomized controlled trial. Study participants were randomly assigned to one of five conditions: (1) an 8-hour abstinence-only intervention; (2) an 8-hour safer sex-only intervention; (3) an 8-hour comprehensive abstinence and safer sex intervention; (4) a 12-hour comprehensive abstinence and safer sex intervention; or (5) an 8-hour general health-promotion program that served as a control group. Surveys were administered immediately before the intervention (baseline) and at five later periods—3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months after baseline. The effectiveness of each intervention was assessed relative to the control group. This report focuses only on the effectiveness of the comprehensive abstinence and safer sex intervention.

    Study Rating: The study met the review criteria for a high study rating.

    Study Findings:

    Averaged across the five follow-up periods:

  • Adolescents participating in the intervention were significantly less likely to report having had multiple sexual partners in the previous three months.
  • The study found no statistically significant program impacts on sexual initiation or the likelihood of having intercourse or unprotected intercourse in the past three months.
  • The study also examined program impacts on consistency of condom use. Findings for this measure were not considered for the review because they did not meet the review evidence standards. Specifically, findings were reported only for subgroups of youth defined by sexual activity at follow up.

    Curriculum Materials

    Curriculum materials are available from ETR at www.etr.org/ebi/programs/promoting-health-among-teens-comprehensive

    Additional Information

    TPP Resource Center: Evidence-Based Programs