Program

Mar 17, 2016

OVERVIEW

Project AIM was developed to steer adolescents away from risky behavioral choices. In a random assignment study, students from 20 classes assigned to receive the AIM program or a standard health education curriculum. At a 19-week follow-up, AIM students were significantly more likely than control students to report having abstained from intercourse during the follow-up period and to report the intention to remain abstinent for the next nine months. At the one-year follow-up, AIM students were no longer more likely to report an intent to remain abstinent. Male AIM students were significantly more likely than male control students to report having abstained from sex during the one-year follow-up period; however, this difference was not observed among female students.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: at-risk adolescents

The AIM program is based on the theory of possible selves, which proposes that individuals are motivated in their present life by mental images of possible future selves. AIM seeks to help adolescents develop positive images of their future selves. AIM encourages students to articulate their future goals and think about how risky behavior choices might jeopardize their path toward achieving those goals. Program activities include filling out interest inventories, preparing resumes, and making business cards.

Per youth, the program costs $16.75, and facilitators must be certified to implement Project AIM through the AIM Service Center. A three day training session costs $1210 per facilitator plus travel arrangements for two trainers. There is a licensing fee for distribution purposes which is done through the AIM Service Center.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Evaluated population: 248 7th graders at a suburban middle school in the southeastern United States served as the study sample for this investigation. The vast majority of students (98%) were African American.

Approach: Students were randomly assigned, by health class, to either the treatment group or the control group. Students assigned to the treatment group received the AIM intervention during their health class twice a week for six weeks. The AIM intervention was led by two trained African American graduate students. Students assigned to the control group received the standard health education curriculum.

All students completed baseline surveys before the intervention began. Students completed follow-up surveys 19 weeks after baseline and again one year later.

Results: At the 19-week follow-up, only 16% of AIM students reported an intention to engage in sexual intercourse in the next nine months, whereas 49% of control students reported such an intention. This constituted a statistically significant difference (a small effect size of 0.17). Additionally, AIM students were significantly less likely to have engaged in sexual intercourse during the follow-up period than were control students.

At the one-year follow-up, AIM students were no longer significantly more likely than control students to report an intention to abstain from sexual intercourse. Male AIM students were significantly more likely than male control students to report having abstained from sex during the one-year follow-up period; however, this difference was not observed among female students.

Examining just those students who were virgins at baseline, at both the 19-week and the one-year follow-up, AIM students were more likely than control students to still be virgins. This trend was marginally significant at the 19-week follow-up, but was no longer significant at the one-year follow-up.

(Analyses took into account the fact that randomization occurred at the group level.)

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References:

Clark, L.F., Miller, K.S., Nagy, S.S., Avery, J., Roth, D.L., Liddon, N., & Mukherjee, S. (2005). Adult identity mentoring: Reducing sexual risk for African-American seventh grade students. Journal of Adolescent Health, 37, 337.e1-3337.e10.

Website

http://www.chla.org/project-aim

Contact Information

AIM Service Center

5000 Sunset Blvd. 7th Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90027

Ph: 323-361-3126

aim@chla.usc.edu

The AIM Service Center provides: Training, TA, Youth Materials, Facilitator Materials, etc.

KEYWORDS: Adolescents, Black/African American, High-Risk, Life Skills, Life Skills Training, Mentoring, Middle School, sexual activity, School-based, STD/HIV/AIDS, Suburban, co-ed, Cost information available.

Last updated 3/17/2016

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