Program

Jun 13, 2012

OVERVIEW

GirlTalk for teen mothers focuses on postponing subsequent teen pregnancies by
strengthening healthy relationships, reproductive practices, and positive youth
assets.

An evaluation found GirlTalk to have no significant impacts overall. However, a
subgroup analysis found a significant impact on delaying pregnancy for young
mothers aged 15-17 years at delivery of intervention, but not those 18 years or
older.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population:
Pregnant or newly parenting teens, ages 15-19

The GirlTalk curriculum was designed to postpone subsequent teen pregnancies by
strengthening healthy relationships, reproductive practices, and positive youth
assets. Program participants meet with the project counselors at the start of
the intervention and schedule biweekly phone sessions for the following 12
months. There are estimated to be a total of 42 counseling sessions over an
18-month post partum interval, each designed to last 35-45 minutes. Curriculum
content focuses on building knowledge of health risks and developing positive
teen attitudes and skills. Other issues addressed include improving sexual
partner communication and negotiation skills, resisting peer pressures for risk
behaviors, and increasing connectedness with family, health provider, school,
and work settings. The focus of the curriculum is on the teen’s own goals and
needs. Each intervention group is provided a workbook that presents visual
support materials for the discussion topics. Two-hour dinner group sessions are
held quarterly at a centrally located hospital serving pregnant and parenting
teens for the intervention participants over the two-year course of the
intervention. Groups are led by the same counselors providing the phone
counseling sessions.

EVALUATION OF PROGRAM

Katz, K.S., Rodan, M., Milligan, R., Tan, S., Courtney, L., Gantz, M., Blake,
S.M., McClain, L., Davis, M. Kiely, M., Subramanian, S. (2011) Efficacy of a
Randomized Cell Phone-Based Counseling Intervention in Postponing Subsequent
Pregnancy Among Teen Mothers. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 15:
S42-S53.

Evaluated Population:
The study sample consisted of pregnant or newly parenting African American and
Latina teens ages 15-18 years who resided in Washington, DC and the adjoining
greater metropolitan area and 19-year olds who had not graduated from high
school. A total of 249 youth completed intervention enrollment activities. The
sample receiving the intervention was 87.9 percent African American and 12.1
percent Latina. The mean age of this group was 17.5 years. The sample receiving
usual care was 89.6 percent African American and 10.4 percent Latina. The mean
age of this group was 17.5 years.

Approach:
The 279 participants were randomized by age and by hospital of delivery to the
intervention or usual care. Following randomization, project counselors met with
teens assigned to the intervention to provide the teen with cell phones, and
schedule weekly cell phone intervention counseling calls for the first 6 months
following enrollment. Each teen assigned to the intervention group was assigned
one counselor for the entirety of the 18-month study. Counselors were
masters-level young women of similar racial-ethnic background as the teens.

Participants randomized to usual care received the health and education services
generally provided through their schools or healthcare facilities.

Participating teens received a baseline evaluation at a home visit before
beginning the intervention. Subsequent questionnaires were administered by
telephone shortly after delivery and again at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months
postpartum. Mothers of the teens completed a questionnaire at the home visit at
baseline and by telephone shortly after the delivery, and at 12 and 24 months
after the baby’s birth. The teen’s pregnancy status was measured at multiple
points in the study. Teens were asked via telephone at 3, 9, 16 and 21 months if
they were or had been pregnant. Pregnancy status was confirmed by both
self-report and a urine Early Pregnancy Test (EPT) at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months.
At the time of discovery, information was gathered about the second pregnancy,
including gestational age, due date, whether prenatal services had been sought,
and if the teen needed pregnancy counseling resources. Teens completed on
average 52 percent of possible sessions during the program time frame.

Results: Within
the two-year follow up period, there were no significant difference in time to a
subsequent pregnancy between treatment and usual care groups overall. However,
young mothers aged 15-17 years in the treatment group delayed a subsequent
pregnancy significantly longer than young mothers in the control group.
Specifically 26 percent of the young mothers 15-17 years old became pregnant
within 24 months, compared with 39 percent of comparable young mothers in the
control groups.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Katz, K.S., Rodan, M., Milligan, R., Tan, S., Courtney, L., Gantz, M., Blake,
S.M., McClain, L., Davis, M. Kiely, M., Subramanian, S. (2011) Efficacy of a
Randomized Cell Phone-Based Counseling Intervention in Postponing Subsequent
Pregnancy Among Teen Mothers. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 15:
S42-S53.

KEYWORDS:
Adolescents, Youth, Female Only, Adolescent Mothers, Black/African American, Hispanic/ Latino, Counseling/Therapy, Teen Pregnancy

Program information last updated on 06/13/2012

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