Impacts of an Enhanced Family Health and Sexuality Module of the HealthTeacher Middle School Curriculum: A Cluster Randomized Trial

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Abstract

Objectives

To evaluate the impacts of an enhanced version of the Family Life and Sexuality Module of the HealthTeacher middle school curriculum.

Methods

We conducted a cluster randomized trial of Chicago, Illinois, middle schools. We randomly assigned schools to a treatment group that received the intervention during the 2010-2011 school year or a control group that did not. The primary analysis sample included 595 students (7 schools) in the treatment group and 594 students (7 schools) in the control group.

Results

Students in the treatment schools reported greater exposure to information on reproductive health topics such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs; 78% vs 60%; P < .01), abstinence (64% vs 37%; P < .01), and birth control (45% vs 29%; P < .01). They also reported higher average scores on an index of knowledge of contraceptive methods and STI transmission (0.5 vs 0.3; P = .02). We found no statistically significant differences in rates of sexual intercourse (12% vs 12%; P = .99), oral sex (12% vs 9%; P = .18), or other intermediate outcomes.

Conclusions

The program had modest effects when tested among Chicago middle school students.

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