227028 Evaluation of Paso a Paso: Building Healthy Families program in Hispanic high school-aged adolescents

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 11:30 AM - 11:50 AM

Sheetal Malhotra, MBBS, MS , Public Health Programs, Medical Institute for Sexual Health, Austin, TX
Katherine Hendricks, MD, MPH&TM , Public Health, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Huntsville, TX
John Vessey, PhD , Psychology, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL
Background: Two Hispanic economically disadvantaged border communities in Texas with ~20,000 residents are disproportionately affected by outcomes such as teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Teen birth rates in these communities in El Paso are ~3 times the national rate. El Paso County has the highest cervical cancer rate in Texas, a state with the 5th highest rate in the US. Methods: A 6-10 session sexual health curriculum was provided to adolescents in grades 10-12 in two school districts in Texas border communities. The program covered information on STIs, teen pregnancy, abstinence, contraception, and healthy and unhealthy relationships. Program participants answer pre-, post- and follow up surveys over 12 months to assess sexual knowledge, attitudes and behaviors, perceived peer norms, perceived peer behaviors and parent connectedness was also sought. Purpose: The program objectives are to 1) increase adolescent knowledge of sexual heath topics such as STIs and teen pregnancy and 2) improve adolescent attitudes and skills to avoid risky sexual activity. Results: 622 matched responses were received for the pre-, post- and follow up surveys. Participants were 14-19 years old; 94% Hispanics, and 49% males. Post-tests revealed significant increases in knowledge of teen pregnancy, STIs, and their consequences as well as improved attitudes toward avoiding sexual activity. Logistic regression data show that positive parent connectedness, avoiding drinking and smoking, and positive attitude toward abstinence were detriments to adolescent sexual activity. Conclusion: Paso a Paso Program has shown significant changes in knowledge and attitudes of high school aged Hispanic youth.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the prevalent sexual knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of high school-aged youth in border communities. 2. Assess changes in knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of high-school adolescents going through a sex education program 3. Evaluate retention of changes through follow up over 12 months

Keywords: Hispanic, Adolescent Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Principal Investigator and Program Director
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.