Evaluation of an evidence-based positive youth development program implemented within high schools in non-metropolitan communities
In this symposium, we will: 1) Explain the structure of a federally funded replication/evaluation study, 2) discuss the longitudinal impacts on youth sexual behavior and academic performance, and 3) describe the successes/challenges of conducting a state-wide, school-based longitudinal study with adolescents.
An evaluation team at the University of South Florida collaborated with the Florida Department of Health to replicate and evaluate the Teen Outreach Program, an evidence-based positive youth development program. Effectiveness was evaluated via a randomized controlled trial in 26 high schools across 10 non-metropolitan counties. A self-reported survey was administered to youth participants at baseline, immediate post-program, and one-year after program completion. Analyses were employed to assess treatment effects from baseline to one-year follow-up.
Survey participation was as follows: baseline (N=3,621) and one-year follow-up (N=2,660). The majority of participants were white (60%), female (48%), and under the age 15 (mean=14.58 years, SD=0.97). After controlling for baseline risk, age, gender, and school-level matched pairs, statistically significant treatment effects were found for youth reporting failing grades and ever being pregnant.
The era of federal program funding without supporting evidence is a concept of the past. Federal policies now reflect the importance of rigorous scientific review for teen pregnancy prevention programs. The remainder of symposium will take an in-depth view of impacts on sexual behavior and academic performance measures found in this evaluation. We will also review the challenges faced implementing a longitudinal evaluation with youth participants.
Learning Areas:Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related research
Explain the structure of a federally funded replication/evaluation study. Discuss the longitudinal impacts on youth sexual behavior and academic performance. Describe the successes/challenges of conducting a state-wide, school-based longitudinal study with adolescents.
Keyword(s): Teen Pregnancy, Evaluation
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I serve as the Project Coordinator for this RCT evaluation which is implemented in 26 Florida high schools and funded ($2.5 million) by the U.S. Office of Adolescent Health.
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.