Program

Nov 05, 2012

OVERVIEW

Families United to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (FUPTP) is an abstinence-only education program.  The FUPTP curriculum focuses on developing self-concept, setting goals, and building life skills, as well as on educating children and adolescents on the nature and consequences of sexually transmitted infections. The curriculum also focuses on communication (including reflective listening, assertiveness, and resistance skills) and the development of healthy relationships (including developing friendships, rules, and relationships).

An analysis of FUPTP program’s effectiveness among children and adolescents ages 8 to 13 in grades 3 through 8 (in which members of the program group were given the option of attending the FUPTP program as often as they chose) revealed no program impacts at a five-year follow-up on measures of abstinence, age of sexual onset, number of sexual partners, pregnancy rate, sexually-transmitted disease (STD) acquisition, birth control use, or condom use.

Similarly, another evaluation of FUPTP among children and adolescents ages 9 to 15 (with 24 intended hours of program contact over 8 to 12 weeks), revealed that there were no program impacts on sexual attitudes, intentions, or behaviors at the post-test.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Children and adolescents (8- to 15-year-olds).

Families United to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (FUPTP) is abstinence-only education program, funded by Title V, Section 510 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.  All such programs have as their exclusive purpose “teaching the social, psychological, and health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity.”  The key component of FUPTP’s after-school activities is its abstinence curriculum, entitle “A Life Options Model Curriculum for Youth.”  This curriculum covers ten topic areas, nearly all of which have abstinence as a central focus: group-building, self-esteem, value and goal-setting, decision-making skills, risk-taking behavior, communication skills, relationships and sexuality, adolescent development and anatomy, STDs, and social skills.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Trenholm, C., Devaney, B., Fortson, K., Clark, M., Quay, L., & Wheeler, J. (2008). Impacts of abstinence education on teen sexual activity, risk of pregnancy, and risk of sexually transmitted diseases. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 27(2), 255–276.

Trenholm, C., Devaney, B., Fortson, K., Quay, L., Wheeler, J., & Clark, M.  (2007). Impacts of Four Title V, Section 510 Abstinence Education Programs.  Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Evaluated population: Between 1999 and 2001, students in 3rd through 8th grades (ages 8 to 13) attending selected elementary and middle schools in Milwaukee, Wisconsin were identified as potential participants for this study.  These students were invited to take part in the program; of these, 504 chose to participate.  A total of 414 (82%) of these students completed follow-up surveys.  The average age of the participants at follow-up was roughly 15-and-a-half.  Two percent of these students were white, 76 percent were black, 7 percent were Hispanic, and 15 percent were of other race or ethnicity.  The sample was 62 percent female; 2 percent of the students’ parents were married.

Approach: Students who chose to participate were randomly assigned to the program group (n= 274) or to the control group (n=140).  Students assigned to the program group had the option of attending the FUPTP after-school program whenever they pleased.  Control group students did not have this option.  The FUPTP group met after school (at the school) for two and a half hours every day.  Program attendance was entirely voluntary; students could attend as frequently or as infrequently as they choose.  While at school, both the program group and the control group received Milwaukee’s mandatory family life curriculum (this curriculum begins in kindergarten and continues through 12th grade, with units on abstinence and contraceptive use beginning in 5th grade).

Students completed surveys at baseline that assessed their participation in risk behaviors and their knowledge and perceptions of sex.  They completed three subsequent surveys over the course of the following 42 to 78 months.

Results: Less than one-half (43 percent) of students assigned to the program group participated in fewer than 25 percent of the FUPTP classes.  Only a fraction of those who participated at rates above this level attended most or all of the classes available.  Nonetheless, contact hours were still high for program students.  The average FUPTP participant who attended at least 25 percent of activities received 146 hours of program services in the first year.

FUPTP had no positive impact on students’ sexual behaviors.  At the final follow-up (which occurred, on average, five years after a student entered the study), students assigned to the treatment group were no more likely to have remained abstinent (if previously abstinent) or to have been abstinent in the prior 12 months than were students assigned to the control group.  FUPTP students were significantly more likely than control students to report an intent to remain abstinent until marriage, but were not more likely to intend to remain abstinent during high school or during their teenage years.

Compared with control students, FUPTP students at follow-up were just as likely to have had four or more sexual partners, and they did not report having waited longer to start having sex.  They did not report using condoms or birth control any more frequently, and they were just as likely to have become pregnant, had a baby, or acquired an STD.

The program had no impact on other risk behaviors.  Students assigned to the FUPTP intervention and students assigned to the control group were equally likely to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and use marijuana.

The intervention group had marginally greater knowledge of STD consequences. The FUPTP intervention did not lead to greater knowledge of the risks of unprotected sex, nor did it lead to understanding the preventive power of condoms.  Compared with control students, program students were significantly more likely to incorrectly identify condoms as never preventing against herpes and HPV. However, they were marginally more likely to believe that condoms usually prevent HIV, and were significantly more likely to believe that birth control pills usually prevent pregnancy.

In non-experimental analyses, the researchers discovered no new trends when they analyzed only those students who actually attended the FUPTP program.

Greene, V. L., Monahan, D. J., Ditmar, M., & Roloson, T. (2011). Effectiveness of an abstinence-only intervention sited in neighborhood community centers. Journal of Children and Poverty, 17(1), 111-124.

Evaluated Population: This program evaluation included 351 children and adolescents ages 9 to 15 who were enrolled in programs at one of five sites run by a community agency (Catholic Charities of Onondaga County) in Syracuse, New York.   The participants in the evaluation were roughly equal in gender.  Most of the participants (88 percent) lived with at least one parent.  Less than one-third (29 percent) identified as white; nearly one-half (48 percent) identified as black.  Slightly less than one-third identified as Latino.

The younger children (those ages 9 and 10, n=155) did not provide data for key evaluation measures related to sexual attitudes, behaviors, and intentions, and were thus dropped from the current evaluation.  Therefore, the evaluated population consisted of 196 children and adolescents ages 11 to 15. At baseline, one-half of the evaluated population (53 percent) said they had kissed someone, other than a relative, on the lips; less than one-third (29 percent) said they had kissed someone with tongue.  More than one-third of the boys (36 percent) said they had felt a girl’s breasts, though only 18 percent of girls reported that a boy had felt their breasts.

Approach:  Participants were recruited over three waves over two years.  Participants were initially randomized by cluster (community center site), but later the design was switched to individual randomization, due to inability to recruit adequate numbers of sites for cluster-level randomization.  No differences at baseline existed between those who were assigned to the intervention group and those who were assigned to the control group.

The FUPTP program was implemented as a part of a larger demonstration project called Choices Enhanced, developed to educate youth and their parents on the risks associated with sexual intercourse outside of marriage, with an emphasis on abstinence, marriage, resisting social pressures to have sex, and promoting positive parental influences.  The Choices Enhanced project involved parent-child connectedness training, abstinence education workshops (the FUPTP curriculum), and youth development activities.

The FUPTP intervention, which was implemented in the community-based agency centers, was designed to include 24 contact hours, spread over 8 to 12 weeks (the first two waves of participants received 12 weeks of the program, the third wave received 8 weeks, but both received the same number of contact hours).  The intervention also included recreational activities designed to promote engagement with the program and bonding among the participants and facilitators. Those in the control group could continue participating in activities offered by the community centers.

The pre-test, or baseline, survey included measures of demographic characteristics, family composition and communication, activities, decision-making, self-confidence, the importance of the future, and behavior and attitudes related to sexuality and abstinence. The post-test survey (completed after the 12 weeks of programming for participants in the first two waves and after the 8 weeks for the those in the third wave) included a subset of these measures, including measures of sexual initiation and of the following: attitudes about marriage and sex; attitudes about the consequences of unmarried teen sex; refusal or resistance towards peer pressures to have sex; and intentions to have sex in the next year, to delay sex, to have sex before marriage, and to use birth control when having sex.

Results: At the post-test, intervention had no impacts on any measure of sexual attitudes, intention, or behaviors.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References:

Greene, V. L., Monahan, D. J., Ditmar, M., & Roloson, T. (2011). Effectiveness of an abstinence-only intervention sited in neighborhood community centers. Journal of Children and Poverty, 17(1), 111-124.

Trenholm, C., Devaney, B., Fortson, K., Quay, L., Wheeler, J., & Clark, M.  (2007). Impacts of Four Title V, Section 510 Abstinence Education Programs.  Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Trenholm, C., Devaney, B., Fortson, K., Clark, M., Quay, L., & Wheeler, J. (2008). Impacts of abstinence education on teen sexual activity, risk of pregnancy, and risk of sexually transmitted diseases. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 27(2), 255–276.

KEYWORDS: Children (3-11), Adolescence (12-17), Elementary School, Middle School, Mentoring, Summer Program, Urban, Sexual Activity, STD/HIV/AIDS, Teen Pregnancy, Condom Use and Contraception, Tobacco Use, Marijuana/Illicit/Prescription Drugs, Alcohol Use, Males and Females (Co-ed), School-Based, Community-Based, After-School Program, Abstinence Education, Births.

Program information last updated on 11/5/12.

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