Online Program

A peer education approach to preventing adolescent pregnancy and promoting sexual health

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Elizabeth Walters, CNM, MS, HiTOPS, Inc., Princeton, NJ
A significant number of adolescents are engaging in sexual intercourse at earlier stages in their lives, and many are participating in high-risk sexual behavior that increases their vulnerability to HIV, other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and unintended pregnancy. Inadequate sexual health education is one explanation for why students are engaging in risky behaviors. Students consistently report that they do not receive enough information about sexual health in time for it to influence the decisions they make. However, students in schools have an important role to play in their own sexual health education.

Students are often underutilized resources, capable of delivering prevention education programs in a way that impacts significantly their own lives, the lives of their peers, and the overall quality of their schools. At the same time, effective peer education models require careful planning, coordination, and resources. In this session, participants will examine strategies and lessons learned from an evidence-based, high school peer education program, known as the Teen Prevention Education Program (Teen PEP). Teen PEP is a school-based intervention that trains peer educators in grades 11 and 12 to deliver interactive workshops to 9th graders and to conduct a Family Night event. The intervention addresses postponing sexual involvement, preventing unintended pregnancy, preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, avoiding sexual decision-making while under the influence of alcohol and other drugs, and improving parent-teen communication. Peer educators also develop a school-wide campaign to reinforce workshop messages.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify essential elements of research-based, effective peer education programs Describe specific strategies for launching an effective school-based, peer education model to address teen sexual health; Identify the ways in which the lessons learned from the implementation of a school-based sexual health promotion program can help to inform the work of their own pregnancy prevention programs.

Keyword(s): Adolescent Health, Peer Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Director of Educational Programs at a teen health and education center in Princeton, NJ, and have provided well-woman gynecological care and sexuality education to adolescents at HiTOPS for 25 years. I am a primary author of the Teen PEP curriculum, a peer-led comprehensive sexuality education program that is currently operating in high schools in New Jersey and North Carolina, and I provide technical assistance to school staff who are operating the program.
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.

Back to: 4374.0: Prevention of teen pregnancy