TeenSTAR is a 14-session,
abstinence-centered, pregnancy prevention program that delivers sex education to
adolescents, during the course of one year. It teaches adolescents about the
biological and physiological aspects of fertility and the psychological aspects
of sexuality. Classrooms were randomly assigned within schools. Results from
two experimental studies suggest that this program is effective in reducing the
rate of pregnancy (Study 1) and delaying the onset of sexual activity,
decreasing sexual activity in sexually-active youth, and improving attitudes
towards abstinence (Study 2), compared with students in the no-treatment
DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM
TeenSTAR is a school-based
pregnancy prevention program that encourages abstinence and teaches adolescents
about the biological and physiological aspects of fertility and the
psychological aspects of sexuality. Over the course of one year, adolescents
receiving the program participate in 14, 45-minute sessions once weekly. Topics
covered include information about human reproductive organs, the effects of
puberty, fertility awareness, emotional awareness, behavioral control,
contraception, and the influence of the media on defining sexuality. Sessions
include group discussions, brainstorming, skill building, and homework
activities to provide an interactive environment for student learning. Teachers
receive 45-hours of training.
EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM
Cabezon, C., Vigil, P., Rojas, I., Leiva, M. E., Riquelme, R., Aranda, W., &
Garcia, C. (2005). Adolescent pregnancy prevention: an abstinenece-centered
randomized controlled intervention in a Chilean public high school. Journal of
Adolescent Health, 36, 64-69.
Population: The sample consisted of three cohorts of
15- to 16-year-old students entering their first year of high school (n=1259
girls). All students were Hispanic White females from low- to middle-income
families, attending an all-female Chilean public high school.
Approach: This is a randomized, prospective study.All students who entered a
specific public high school between 1996 and1998 were required by the school to
participate in the study. Classrooms (each containing 30-35 students) in the
1997 and 1998 cohorts were randomized to receive TeenSTAR or the general health
curriculum which included no reproductive health intervention (Program: n=398;
Control: n=342). The 1996 cohort received no intervention. Data on all clinical
pregnancies were collected every year of high school.
Note:Comparisons between the 1996 cohort and the
other two cohorts will not be reported in this evaluation summary, due to the
fact that this group was not randomly assigned to the intervention or control
Results: The findings of this study suggest that the
program was effective in reducing pregnancy rates. In the 1997 cohort, the
intervention group had an average of 1.5 pregnancies per year and the control
group had an average of 8.75 pregnancies per year. In the 1998 cohort, the
intervention group had an average of 3.2 pregnancies per year and the control
group had an average of 4.25 pregnancies per year. Because this analysis did not
control for clustering effects generated by random assignment at the classroom
level, these findings are somewhat tenuous.
Study 2: Vigil, P., Riquelme, R., Rivadeneira, R., & Klaus,
H. (2005, May).Effect of TeenSTAR, an abstinence-only sexual education
program on adolescent sexual behavior. The North American Society for Pediatric
and Adolescent Gynecology, 19th Annual Clinical Meeting. New Orleans, LA.
A total of 740, 12- to
18-year-old adolescents (60% male, 40% female) from 10 Chilean schools
participated in the study. The ethnic composition of the sample was 100%
Approach: The sample was randomly assigned to the program group (n=398) or the control
group (n=342). The year-long program was delivered by 12 TeenSTAR teachers who
received 40 hours (5 days) of training on how to monitor the program. The
program included one personal interview with each adolescent participant and one
parents meeting. Data on sexual activity and attitudes towards abstinence were
collected at pre-test and post-test.
Results: The program reduced sexual activity, delayed sexual onset, and increased
positive attitudes toward abstinence. Among sexually-active teens, a greater
proportion of adolescents in the intervention group reported they had not had
sex in the last three months than those in the control group (20% v. 9%). In
addition, a smaller proportion of adolescents in the intervention group made
initiated sexual intercourse (males: 8.8% v. 17.6%; females: 3.4% v. 12.4%).
SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION
Dr. Hanna Klaus,
M.D., Natural Family Planning Center of Washington D.C.,
8514 Bradmoor-Drive, USA, Bethesda, MD 20817-3810
phone: 301 897-9323
fax: 301 571-5267
Study 1: Cabezon, C., Vigil, P., Rojas, I., Leiva, M. E., Riquelme, R., Aranda, W., &
Garcia, C. (2005).
pregnancy prevention: an abstinenece-centered randomized controlled intervention
in a Chilean public high school. Journal of Adolescent Health, 36, 64-69.
Study 2:Vigil, P., Riquelme, R., Rivadeneira, R., & Klaus, H. (2005, May).
Effect of TeenSTAR,
an abstinence-only sexual education program on adolescent sexual behavior. The
North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, 19th Annual
Clinical Meeting. New Orleans, LA.
Adolescence (12-17), Adolescents (12-17), Female-Only, Males and Females (Co-ed), High School, School-Based, Abstinence, Sexual
Initiation, Hispanic or Latino, Skills Training Teen Pregnancy
information last updated on 2/23/09.