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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Adolescent pregnancy prevention for 5th graders: Predicting attitudes towards abstinence and use of refusal skills

Karen M. Anderson, PhD1, Renee Jenkins, MD2, M. Nabil El-Khorazaty, PhD3, Deborah A. Schwartz, MPH3, Qing Yao, PhD4, Leslie Walker, MD5, and Andrea M. Davis, MPA1. (1) Building Futures for Youth, Howard University, 2018 Georgia Avenue NW, Second Floor, Washington, DC 20001, 202 865-3881, kmanderson@Howard.edu, (2) Department of Pediatrics, Howard University Hospital, 2041 Georgia Avenue, NW 6th Floor, Room 6-B-04, Washington, D.C., DC 20060, (3) RTI International, 6110 Executive Blvd., Suite 420, Rockville, MD 20852, (4) Statistics Research Division, RTI International, 3040 Cornwallis Road, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, (5) Dept. of Pediatrics, Georgetown University, 2 Pasquillera Health Center, 3800 Reservoir Rd., Washington, DC 20007

Adolescents in the United States are initiating sexual intercourse at increasingly young ages. Recent research emphasizes the importance of beginning prevention efforts in elementary school. Although there is compelling evidence for aiming interventions to delay sexual debut at pre-adolescents, most interventions have focused on middle or high school students.

This paper describes relationships among variables from baseline data collected from a school-based adolescent pregnancy prevention program conducted with 5th grade students and their parents in 16 Washington, DC elementary schools. Schools were randomly assigned to intervention or control conditions. The intervention consisted of 11 sessions for children and 7 sessions for parents; both interventions addressed key risk factors associated with early sexual debut. Survey data were collected from students and parents both before and after the intervention at all 16 schools.

Predictors included children’s attitudes towards abstinence, perceptions of abstinence as a peer norm, and use of refusal skills to resist peer pressure.

Correlational data indicate that liking school is significantly related to all three variables above. Intention to engage in sexual activity in the coming year is significantly and negatively correlated with the above three variables. The child’s educational expectations, ability to identify peer pressure, and parent-child communication are significantly and positively correlated with the variables described above.

Statistical modeling techniques will be used to create pathways to determine the most cogent variables predicting children’s attitudes towards abstinence, perceptions of abstinence as a peer norm, and the use of refusal skills to resist peer pressure.

Learning Objectives: The participant will be able to

Keywords: Sexual Risk Behavior, Adolescent Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

School-Based HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Prevention

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA