Nearly all teen births are unplanned and to unmarried parents. These unintended pregnancies bring unique economic and emotional challenges and are linked to a number of negative outcomes. CFRP studies how policies and programs impact the sexual decisions, health, and wellbeing of adolescents.
The highest rate of teen pregnancy occurs among the 18 and 19 year-old age group, yet teen pregnancy prevention programs typically target a younger demographic. To fill this gap, Healthy Futures of Texas (HFTX) is providing evidence-based sexual education to community college students in San Antonio using the Seventeen Days and SHARP curricula. CFRP is conducting an implementation and outcomes evaluation to determine whether the programs are being implemented according to the HFTX work plan and to analyze the factors that enhance and limit program implementation in a community college setting. CFRP is also studying the student sexual behavior outcomes associated with participation in Seventeen Days and SHARP. This evaluation will build knowledge about the pregnancy prevention interventions that are most effective with community college populations.
The majority of evidence-based sexual education curricula was developed in response to the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s and focus primarily on sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention. Today’s teens need to know how to protect themselves from STIs, but they also need up-to-date information on birth control, pregnancy prevention, and healthy relationships. EngenderHealth has developed an innovative new adolescent sexual education curriculum, Re:MIX, that teaches adolescents this crucial information using a gender transformative framework. An adult health educator and a peer educator, who is a teen parent, co-facilitate every session of Re:MIX so that students can learn about the reality of teen parenthood from someone they can relate to. CFRP is collaborating with ChildTrends to evaluate EngenderHealth’s first implementation of Re:MIX in select Austin charter schools. Through this evaluation, CFRP seeks to understand whether Re:MIX increases student knowledge about healthy relationships and use of contraceptives, and ultimately can contribute to reducing teen pregnancy.
Texas is one of the states with the highest rates of teen pregnancy and repeat teen pregnancy in the country. Texas teenagers’ lack of access to medically accurate reproductive health education may contribute to this problem. Two Texas charter schools implemented Making Proud Choices!, an evidence-based curriculum that provides youth with the knowledge, confidence, and skills needed to reduce the risk of STDs and pregnancy. CFRP conducted a process and outcomes evaluation of the Making Proud Choices! curriculum to determine the extent to which the program achieved student outcomes of reducing the risk of pregnancy and STDs among adolescents enrolled in the program. In addition to measuring student outcomes, CFRP assessed whether the program was being implemented with fidelity to the model and identified barriers to implementation.
The Parenting and Paternity Awareness (p.a.p.a.) Curriculum is a school-based curriculum that is designed to teach students about the responsibilities of parenthood, paternity establishment, the realities of having a child, and the elements of a healthy relationship. As a result of legislation passed in 2007 during the 80th session of the Texas Legislature, the p.a.p.a. Curriculum is a mandatory component of the state’s health curriculum, representing the first large-scale effort by any state to educate students on parental responsibilities using child support and paternity as the basis for the program. To determine the impact that the p.a.p.a. Curriculum has on students’ knowledge and attitudes, as well as the level of support for the program from teachers and principals, Dr. Cynthia Osborne conducted a two year, comprehensive evaluation of the program. Dr. Osborne found that p.a.p.a. is addressing an unmet need for students and that it is significantly improving students’ knowledge and attitudes in areas that are unique to the p.a.p.a. Curriculum