Program

Apr 23, 2007

OVERVIEW

Draw the Line/Respect the Line is a 3-year, school-based
program for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders,
designed to prevent HIV, other STDs, and pregnancy. In a large-scale
study of the program’s effectiveness among
California middle-schoolers, ten schools were randomly assigned to implement
the Draw the Line/Respect the Line curriculum and nine schools were assigned to
a control group. The program was found to have an impact on the sexual
behavior of boys, but not girls. Boys from schools that taught the Draw
the Line/Respect the Line curriculum were significantly less likely to start
having sex than were boys from control schools. Further, boys from Draw the
Line/Respect the Line schools had sex less frequently and with fewer partners
than did boys from control schools. The program failed to impact condom
usage among boys or girls.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Middle school students

The Draw the Line/Respect the Line curriculum consists of 20
lessons. The 6th grade curriculum includes five lessons that
primarily focus on limit-setting and refusal skills in non-sexual
situations. The 7th grade curriculum includes eight lessons
that shift the focus on to sexual situations; students learn about the
consequences associated with sexual intercourse and are encouraged to set
limits regarding sex. Students are also taught intra and interpersonal
skills designed to help them maintain limits and respect the limits of
others. The 8th grade curriculum includes seven lessons.
These lessons develop students’ practical skills; in them, students learn how
to use condoms and practice refusal skills in dating contexts. Lessons
are highly interactive and involve a diversity of activities, including small
and large-group discussions, paired and small-group skill practices, stories,
and individual activities. The program is designed to be appropriate for
students of all races/ethnicities.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Coyle, K.K., Kirby, D.B., Marin, B.V., Gomez, C.A.,
& Gregorich, S.E.
(2004).Draw the Line/Respect the Line: A Randomized Trial of
a Middle School Intervention to Reduce Sexual Risk Behaviors. American
Journal of Public Health, 94(5)
, 843-851.

Evaluated population: 19 ethnically diverse public
middle schools from an urban area of northern California were selected to participate in
this study. Out of the 4,164 6th grade students enrolled at
these schools, 2,829 (68%) received parental consent to participate and filled
out baseline surveys. 5% of these students were African American, 16%
were Asian, 59% were Latino, 17% were White, and 3% were of other
ethnicities. Approximately 4% of students reported having had sexual
intercourse at baseline.

Approach: All study participants with active parental
consent completed a baseline survey during the spring of their 6th
grade year. This survey assessed their past sexual behaviors and their
sexual attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge. Ten of the 19 study schools
were randomly assigned to receive the Draw the Line/Respect the Line
curriculum, while the other nine schools continued implementing their existing
sex education curricula. The Draw the Line/Respect the Line curriculum
was taught by experienced health educators who received substantial training in
the curriculum. Follow-up surveys were administered the spring of study
participants’ 6th grade year, the spring of their 7th
grade year, the spring of their 8th grade year, and the spring of their
9th grade year. Retention rates were 91%, 88%, and 64% across
the grades.

Results: From 6th grade through 9th
grade, boys from the Draw the Line/Respect the Line schools were significantly
less likely to report having initiated sexual activity than boys from the
control schools, and the magnitude of this difference increased with
time. The program had no impact on girls in this regard.

At every follow-up, boys from the Draw the Line/Respect the
Line schools were significantly less likely to have engaged in sex during the
past 12 months than boys from the control schools. Further, at the 8th
grade follow-up, boys from the Draw the Line/Respect the Line schools reported
having engaged in sex significantly less frequently and with fewer partners over
the past year than boys from control schools. The program had no impact
on any of these outcomes for girls.

Both boys and girls from Draw the Line/Respect the Line
schools had greater HIV and condom-related knowledge than control students, and
this difference remained significant through the 9th grade
follow-up.

The program had no impact on condom use by either gender of
students.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

Program manual available for purchase at
http://pub.etr.org/ProductDetails.aspx?id=100000029&itemno=Z002

References:

Coyle, K.K., Kirby, D.B., Marin, B.V., Gomez, C.A.,
& Gregorich, S.E. (2004).Draw the Line/Respect the Line: A Randomized Trial of
a Middle School Intervention to Reduce Sexual Risk Behaviors. American
Journal of Public Health, 94(5)
, 843-851.

KEYWORDS: School-Based, Middle School, Adolescence (12-17), Adolescents,
Reproductive Health, STD/HIV/AIDS,
Teen Pregnancy, Skills Training, Education, Urban, Cost Information Is Available, Manual Is Available.

Program information last updated on
4/23/07.

Subscribe to Child Trends

Short weekly updates of recent research on children and youth.