Program

Nov 06, 2012

OVERVIEW

Afrocentric Peer Counseling is an abstinence-based program for African-American adolescent females designed to delay sexual activity, increase reproductive knowledge, prevent pregnancy, and increase contraceptive use. In a random assignment evaluation, the intervention group experienced a significant increase in reproductive knowledge from pre-test to post-test.  However, the control group gained more knowledge from the post-test to the three-month post-test. There were no significant differences between intervention and comparison group on delay of intercourse, pregnancy, or contraceptive use.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: African-American adolescent females

Afrocentric Peer Counseling is designed to delay sexual activity, prevent pregnancy, and increase contraceptive use through culturally specific, abstinence-based counseling from peers.  Abstinence is the predominant message taught for avoiding STDs, unwanted pregnancy, and HIV/AIDS, but participants also review other pregnancy prevention strategies. Additionally, participants are taught leadership and communication skills, given information on career and academic goals, and encouraged to explore spiritual and self-growth.  Teachings of African American leaders are incorporated into the curriculum to help participants learn about their own identity and racial awareness.

Participants meet for two-hour sessions that include discussions and role-playing. The groups meet once a week for eight weeks.  Group leaders participate in a 10-week training program.

 EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Ferguson, S. L. (1998). Peer counseling in a culturally specific adolescent pregnancy prevention program. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 9(3), 322-340.

Evaluated population: Sixty-three African American adolescent females from Charlottesville, VA participated.  Participants lived in four publicly subsidized housing developments, and their ages ranged from 12 to 16.  The average household income in the area was 125 percent of the poverty level.

Approach: Participants were randomly assigned by neighborhood to the experimental group or a comparison group, with two neighborhoods in each condition.  The experimental group received the intervention as described above. Comparison group participants were taught about life management, family relations, academics, and career goals.

Assessments were completed at pre-test, post-test, and 3 months after the end of the intervention. Participants were measured on knowledge of sex, reproduction, STDs, and contraceptives, and behaviors such as sexual activity, frequency of sexual activity, and contraceptive use.

Results: At the three-month post-test, none of the experimental group or comparison group adolescents had become pregnant.  There was no significant difference between groups in delaying sexual intercourse.

Among the experimental group adolescents, there was a significant increase in reproductive knowledge from pre-test to post-test.  The comparison group had no significant increase in knowledge over this period.  However the comparison group had a significant increase in knowledge from post-test to three-month follow-up, while the experimental group did not.  Compared with the experimental group, the comparison group gained significantly more knowledge at the three-month follow-up.

There was no significant difference between the groups at post-test or follow-up in contraceptive use. Missing data and a small sample of individuals and neighborhoods undermine the study.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References:

Ferguson, S. L. (1998). Peer counseling in a culturally specific adolescent pregnancy prevention program. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 9(3), 322-340.

KEYWORDS: Adolescents (12-17), High-Risk, Urban, Black or African American, STD/HIV/AIDS, Teen Pregnancy, Sexual Activity, Condom Use and Contraception, Female Only

Program information last updated on 11/06/12.

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