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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Sexual Behavior and Attitudes of Young Adolescents: The Reality of Middle School-Age Sex and Effective Prevention Efforts and Programs

Cynthia Costello, PhD, State and Local Action, National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 1776 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036, 202-478-8512, ccostello@teenpregnancy.org

Despite concern about the nation’s high rates of teen pregnancy, few national-level data sets provide information about sexual activity and contraceptive use among youth aged 14 and younger. Recognizing the importance of understanding the sexual relationships and behaviors of young adolescents, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy commissioned research on the topic. The resulting report, 14 and Younger: The Sexual Behavior of Young Adolescents, shows that: one in five adolescents have had sex before the age of 15, one in seven sexually experienced 14 year olds have been pregnant, and sexually experienced youth aged 14 and younger are much more likely to engage in other risky behavior than youth who are not sexually active. Research also shows that parents and caring adults severely underestimate their influence on teens’ behavior. By understanding the sexual reality of middle school-aged youth and the potential positive impact parents and other adults can have on young adolescents, energy and resources can be better targeted towards helping young teens resist risky sexual behaviors.

This session will provide an overview of this research, drawing on products prepared under a CDC-funded project called Putting What Works to Work. These products include a report on effective prevention programs, No Time to Waste: Programs to Reduce Teen Pregnancy Among Middle School-Aged Youth, and several Science Says fact sheets on the sexual behavior and attitudes of young adolescents. Special emphasis will be placed on effective programs and practices that can be replicated in communities across the country.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Prevention, Children and Adolescents

Related Web page: www.teenpregnancy.org

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

Teen Pregnancy Prevention In the U.S.: Current Challenges and Promising Approaches

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