Program

Apr 23, 2007

OVERVIEW

Facts & Feelings is a home-based program intended to increase parent-child communication about sexuality.  The program consists of discussion-provoking videos for parents to watch with their teenage children.  A 1993 study of the program’s effectiveness found that, though the program had a positive impact on family communication about sexuality while families had the videos, this impact was not long-lasting.  One year after the study began, families that had received videos (regardless of whether the videos were accompanied by written materials) reported no more communication about sexuality than did families that had not received the videos.  Furthermore, no significant differences were observed between teens whose families had received videos and teens whose families had not received videos on measures of sexual behavior and sexual intentions.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Children aged 10-14 and their parents

The Facts & Feelings program was designed to help parents talk to their pre- and early-adolescent children about sexuality.  The program consists of six videos, each 15-20 minutes in length and printed information to accompany each tape.  Each tape deals with a different sexuality-related topic and all tapes make suggestions for further discussion.  Topics include changes associated with puberty, sexual values, facts about sexual anatomy and pregnancy, sexuality within relationships, possible consequences of sexual involvement, and refusal skills.  The overarching message of this program is that adolescents should remain sexually abstinent.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Miller, B.C. et al.  (1993).  Impact Evaluation of Facts & Feelings: A Home-Based Video Sex Education Curriculum.  Family Relations, 42, 392-400.

Evaluated population: All families with a 7th or 8th grade child in four northern Utah school districts were invited to participate in this program and 548 families volunteered.  This represents a 9% participation rate.  The participating families were predominately white and Mormon.

Approach: Volunteer families were randomly assigned to one of three groups: families receiving videotapes and printed materials (n=126), families receiving videotapes only (n=132), and families receiving no materials (n=290).  All participants (children, mothers, and fathers) took individual pre-test surveys and then those families who were to receive materials received them.

Families receiving videos kept were allowed to keep their videos for three months.  During this period, these families received biweekly phone calls encouraging them to make use of the program.  After three months, videos were collected and all participants were individually surveyed again.  Another follow-up survey was conducted one year after the study began.

Results: During the three-month period that the videos were in circulation, families that received Facts & Feelings videos engaged in significantly more parent-teen communication about sexual topics than did families that did not receive the videos.  This difference had dissipated by the time of the one-year follow-up survey, however.

Teens whose families received the videos were not less likely to engage in sexual behaviors than were teens whose families did not receive the videos; however, in all groups, the percentage of teens reporting sexual intercourse was very small (3-5%).  Treatment teens were also no less likely to report an intention to have intercourse before marriage or during the upcoming year than were control teens.

Supplementing the video treatment with printed materials did not lead to a significant increase in time spent with the videos.  The researchers do not note any significant differences between the video-only treatment and the video-plus-printed-materials treatment.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

Program materials are not available for purchase.

References:

Miller, B.C. et al.  (1993).  Impact Evaluation of Facts & Feelings: A Home-Based Video Sex Education Curriculum.  Family Relations, 42, 392-400.

KEYWORDS: Home-Based, Children, Adolescence (12-17), Parent or Family Component, Abstinence Education, Sexual Activity, White or Caucasian, Middle School, Community or Media Campaign, Skills Training.

Program information last updated on 4/23/07.

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