204994 Multi-Dimensional Public Health Perspective And Teen Health-Risk Behavaiors in Abstinence-Based Education: Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Prevention

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Harry Piotrowski, MS , ITMESA (Inquiry Through Measurement Evaluation Statistical Analysis), Oak Park, IL
Michelle Lee, BS , ITMESA (Inquiry Through Measurement Evaluation Statistical Analysis), Crown Point, IN
Tracey Y. Lewis-Elligan, PhD , Department of Sociology, DePaul University, Chicago, IL
Background: Abstinence-based education programs (for example, 3-10 classroom hours, speaker-assemblies, teen-group performances, teen-parent and abstinence clubs, parent education, web and media campaigns) are public health prevention programs addressing the adolescent epidemics of STDs and pregnancy. "Abstinence-Only" education can be replaced by a public health "abstinence-based teen risk-behavior prevention" education paradigm. Purpose: Process and outcome utilization data on (a) program/curriculum fidelity, (b) educator assessment and (c) student/parent evaluations in federally funded abstinence-based school-focused programs are examined. The aim is to demonstrate how a public health perspective using the primary, secondary, tertiary health prevention model with different subgroups of adolescents ages 12-18 engaged in priority high risk teen behaviors (for example, alcohol and other drug use, sexual behaviors) broadens the curriculum and guides evaluation. Procedures: Presented are activity tracking data, student and teacher assessments, and before/after student questionnaire results (15,000+ students, grades 6-12) in several federally funded programs that focus on abstinence-until-marriage as the organizing learning objective. Pre-post 32 to 52 item questionnaires with comparison groups are analyzed using multivariate modeling to test hypotheses derived from descriptive and univariate analyses (with epidemiologic concepts such as odds ratio, relative benefit increase, number needed to teach [treat]). Findings indicate statistically significant differences by grade, gender, race/ethnicity, extent of parent communication, and among students who are and are not sexually active using mean composite scores and subscores for knowledge, opinions, skills, behavioral intentions and sexual activity. Conclusion. The public health primary-secondary-tertiary prevention paradigm is a useful framework to structure abstinence-based instruction and examine its effectiveness on multiple priority teen health-risk behaviors.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to describe and explain how traditional 'abstinence-only" instruction can be designed as a public health prevention program that focuses on priority risk-behaviors of adolescents.

Keywords: Health Risks, Sexual Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Continuing from the past four years, I direct the program evaluation of abstinence-based teen instruction and program support activities and have conducted workshops and gave oral and poster presentations at various meetings.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.