Sexual Assertiveness Skills and Sexual Decision-Making in Adolescent Girls: Randomized Controlled Trial of an Online Program

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



To evaluate the efficacy of an interactive, Web-based sexual health program (Health Education and Relationship Training [HEART]) for developing sexual assertiveness skills and enhancing sexual decision-making in adolescent girls.


Participants were 222 tenth-grade girls (mean age = 15.2; 38% White, 29% Hispanic, 25% Black) in the Southeastern United States who were randomized in fall 2015 to the HEART intervention or an attention-matched control. We assessed participants at pretest, immediate posttest, and 4-month follow-up.


Both groups had similar demographic and sexual behavior characteristics at pretest. At immediate posttest, girls who completed the HEART program demonstrated better sexual assertiveness skills measured with a behavioral task, higher self-reported assertiveness, intentions to communicate about sexual health, knowledge regarding HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), safer sex norms and attitudes, and condom self-efficacy compared with the control condition. At 4-month follow-up, group differences remained in knowledge regarding HIV and other STDs, condom attitudes, and condom self-efficacy.


This brief online sexual health program can improve short-term outcomes among adolescent girls and offers an exciting new option in the growing array of digital health interventions available to youths.

Trial Registration Number


Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles