Adapting an Evidence-Based Curriculum in a Rural Setting: The Longer-Term Impacts of Reducing the Risk in Kentucky

OPRE Report #2018-27
Publisher: Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Mar 31, 2018
Authors
Brian Goesling, Joanne Lee, Robert G. Wood, and Susan Zief

Key Findings:

  • The adapted version of Reducing the Risk led to a sustained increase in students’ knowledge of contraception and sexually transmitted infections after two years, and a longer-term impact on sexual risk behavior had emerged for one subgroup of students.
  • Relative to the standard school curriculum, the adapted version of Reducing the Risk did not change the likelihood of students’ having sex or having sex without a condom in the three months before the two-year follow-up survey for the overall sample.
  • The program did, however, reduce the likelihood of having sex without a condom in the three months before the two-year follow-up survey for the smaller sample of students who were already sexually active before study enrollment.
  • For the overall sample, the program increased students’ knowledge of contraception and sexually transmitted infections relative to the standard school curriculum.
To help identify effective pregnancy prevention approaches for rural young people, Mathematica, in collaboration with the Kentucky Department of Public Health, conducted a rigorous evaluation of an adapted eight-hour version of Reducing the Risk, a teen pregnancy prevention curriculum. This final report presents two-year impacts of the adapted curriculum, details program costs, and documents the study methods. The research is part of a multicomponent evaluation of the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) led by Mathematica Policy Research for the Administration for Children & Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. PREP provides federal funding to educate youth on abstinence and contraception.