The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4174.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 3:42 PM

Abstract #45241

Gender-specific prevention programming for female adolescents

Laura J. Flinchbaugh, MPH, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, SAMHSA, US DHHS, DKDE, Rockwall II, Suite 1075, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857, 301/443-4564,

This session will discuss the need for effective gender-specific interventions for female adolescents, and will summarize program outcome and implementation findings from substance abuse prevention (SAP) programs and programs integrating SAP and HIV/AIDS prevention funded by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP).

Girls and young women have different needs in prevention programming than do boys and young men. Both age and gender appropriateness are critical to consider in prevention programming, as are race/ethnicity and culture. Programs need to take into account such factors as the importance of relationships and maintaining connections with their family and others. Relationships form the basis for growth and development for girls, and fear of disconnection is important in decision-making. Therefore, gender specific prevention programs should focus on relational skill-building and should promote positive female development through activities to enhance self-esteem/concept and self-worth, strengthen and maintain healthy relationships, increase self-efficacy, and increase abilities to engage in health-related behaviors and make healthier decisions, generally.

CSAP programs for SAP and HIV prevention have covered a wide range of locations and diverse target populations. Program findings have been strongest for positive changes in self-esteem, relational bonding, and self-efficacy. The importance of family factors for females, including supervision, bonding, communication, and parental attitudes, as well as academic efficacy has also been confirmed through individual and cross-site evaluations. The presenter will summarize the critical knowledge gained and make recommendations for improving the capacity of the field to design, implement and evaluate effective gender-specific prevention programs for female adolescents.

Learning Objectives: Learning Objectives