206330 Teenage pregnancy- A public health issue: Outcomes for teenage girls in an evidence-based Newark N J Best Friends Adolescent Family Life intervention to reduce risky behaviors, promote abstinence and good values

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 9:10 AM

Kathleen A. Sternas, PhD, RN , College of Nursing, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ
MaryAnn Scharf, EdD , College of Nursing, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ
Rosemarie Peterkin, MAT , Newark Best Friends and Best Men, Newark, NJ
Janet Summerly, MSN, RN , Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ
Background: Teenage birth rates are higher in the United States than England, Australia, Canada and Japan. High rates of risky behaviors exist among Newark teenagers including drug and alcohol use, smoking, STD's/HIV/AIDS, and teen pregnancy which affect health. This presentation: describes outcomes for girls in an evidenced-based intervention that promotes abstinence from drinking, drugs, and sex and promotes good values; and compares outcomes of intervention and comparison girls. Bandura's Social Learning and Piaget's theories guided the intervention focusing on discussions, mentoring, health/fitness classes, cultural events, community service, and recognition. Methods: Pretest post-test design. Four intervention schools (n=183 girls) and five comparison schools (n=123 girls) participated. Participants were 6th, 7th, 8th grade girls primarily of African American ethnicity. Intervention participants were randomly selected. Comparison participants were a convenience sample (no intervention). Comparison and intervention schools were matched on grade, ethnicity, socioeconomic status. Instruments: AFL Core Baseline/Follow-up and Demographic Questionnaires. Pearson Chi Square, Mann Whitney U statistical tests and .05 level of significance were used. Post-Test Results: Significantly more intervention than comparison girls reported: dating/party rules (p=.041); saying no to wrong activities (p=.026); importance of good education (p=.034); important for them (p<.001) and future spouse (p<.001) to remain abstinent; problem with sex before marriage even if no pregnancy results(p=.003); abstinence is the certain way to avoid pregnancy, STD's, health problems (p=.020). Significantly more comparison than intervention girls reported: questions about body/dating/alcohol/drugs (p=.012); friends who tried marijuana/drugs (p=.027); little life control (p=.008). Results higher at post test than pretest for intervention girls: rules about hanging out (p=.009)/where I am (p=.044); saying no to wrong activities (p=.019); staying away from trouble (p=.032); self-confidence (p<.001). Results higher at post test than pretest for comparison girls: OK for teens to date someone three or more years older or younger (p=.033); using marijuana/drugs (p=.045). Conclusions: Intervention girls have more significant outcomes related to values, abstinence behaviors and attitudes than comparison girls. Findings suggest the intervention promotes abstinence, reduces risky behaviors like using drugs. Findings have implications for development of intervention programs which aim to reduce risky behaviors, promote good values and abstinence attitudes and behaviors.

Learning Objectives:
Describe an evidence-based intervention, the Newark NJ Best Friends Adolescent Family Life Intervention, which reduces risky behaviors, promotes good values and abstinence from drinking, drugs, and sex in teenagers and has demonstrated positive outcomes for teenage girls. Identify at least two differences in outcomes between teenage girls who received the Newark NJ Best Friends Adolescent Family Life intervention and comparison girls who did not receive the intervention.

Keywords: Evidence Based Practice, Adolescent Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conducted the work for this presentation in collaboration with the other authors on this paper.
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.