142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Role of the social environment in reducing risky behaviors, promoting health and preventing teenage pregnancy: An intervention to promote health and well-being of teenagers

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 8:50 AM - 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: High rates of risky behaviors exist among Newark teenagers including drug/alcohol use,sexual activity leading to STD's, teen pregnancy which affect health. This presentation describes:the social environment(parental communication/peer influence)in preventing risky behaviors and teenage pregnancy; outcomes for an evidenced-based intervention that promotes abstinence, effective parent-teen communication, mentoring, recognition, sexuality discussions, health/fitness, cultural activities/community service. Bandura's Social Learning theory guided the intervention. Methods:Pretest post-test design. Four intervention(n=183 girls;n=86 boys)/five comparison(n=123 girls;n=97 boys) schools participated. Intervention participants were randomly selected.Comparison participants were convenience sample. Intervention/comparison schools were matched on demographic variables. Instruments:AFL Core and Demographic Questionnaires. Pearson Chi Square/Mann Whitney U statistical tests and .05 level of significance were used. Post-test I Results:Significantly more intervention than comparison participants reported:more dating/party rules(p=.005);higher alone date age(p=.030); saying no to wrong activities(p=.005); important to remain abstinent(p<.001)/future spouse to remain abstinent(p<.001);abstinence avoids pregnancy/STD’s/health problems(p=.002); admire teens (p<.001)/friends admire teens (p<.001) who remain abstinent. Significantly more comparison than intervention participants reported:sex okay if long time dating(p=.001); friends drink(p=.009); tried marijuana/drugs(p=.026). More intervention girls reported:saying no to wrong activities(p=.026);important to remain abstinent(p<.001);friends say no sex until marriage(p<.001). More comparison girls reported:questions about body/dating/alcohol/drugs(p=.012);sex okay if dating long time(p=.001). More intervention boys reported:future spouse remain abstinent(p=.008). More comparison boys reported:not talking with parents/guardians about no alcohol/drugs/sex(p=.006). Conclusions: Intervention participants have more significant outcomes related to abstinence behaviors/attitudes than comparison participants. A social environment with effective parent-teen communication about sexuality/rules, and peers who value abstinence can help reduce risky behaviors/promote abstinence. Findings suggest the intervention promotes abstinence, reduces risky behaviors which helps prevent teenage pregnancy/health problems. Findings have implications for interventions to prevent teenage pregnancy.

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
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the role of the social environment in reducing risky behaviors, promoting health and preventing teenage pregnancy. Describe outcomes of an evidence-based intervention that promotes abstinence from drinking, drugs, premarital sex, effective parent-teen communication and positive peer influences.

Keyword(s): Teen Pregnancy, Health Promotion and Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a partner on the federally funded grant project upon which the proposed presentation is based, and have collaborated with the other authors on this project.
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.