A Clustered Randomized Controlled Trial of the Positive Prevention PLUS Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program

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Abstract

Objectives

To determine the impact of Positive Prevention PLUS, a school-based adolescent pregnancy prevention program on delaying sexual intercourse, birth control use, and pregnancy.

Methods

I randomly assigned a diverse sample of ninth grade students in 21 suburban public high schools in California into treatment (n = 2483) and control (n = 1784) groups that participated in a clustered randomized controlled trial. Between October 2013 and May 2014, participants completed baseline and 6-month follow-up surveys regarding sexual behavior and pregnancy. Participants in the treatment group were offered Positive Prevention PLUS, an 11-lesson adolescent pregnancy prevention program.

Results

The program had statistically significant impacts on delaying sexual intercourse and increasing the use of birth control. However, I detected no program effect on pregnancy rates at 6-month follow-up.

Conclusions

The Positive Prevention PLUS program demonstrated positive impacts on adolescent sexual behavior. This suggests that programs that focus on having students practice risk reduction skills may delay sexual activity and increase birth control use.

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