Program

Dec 20, 2007

OVERVIEW

REAL Men is a seven-week program intended to prevent HIV
acquisition among adolescent boys. The program focuses on providing
fathers or father figures with the skills necessary to communicate about HIV
prevention with their sons. In a random assignment study, father-son
pairs assigned to participate in the REAL Men program were compared with
father-son pairs assigned to participate in a control program. Following
the program, father-son pairs in the REAL Men group were more likely than
father-son pairs in the control group to report having discussed sex-related
topics. Sons in the REAL Men group also reported greater rates of
abstinence at the six-month follow-up.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: 11-14 year-old boys and their
fathers or father figures

The REAL (Responsible, Empowered, Aware, Living) Men program
consists of seven weekly sessions. Fathers attend the first six sessions
alone, and bring their sons to the final session. Sessions provide
information on communicating with adolescents, parental monitoring, and peer
relationships. Sessions also familiarize fathers with sexual topics
important in adolescence and discuss the transmission and prevention of HIV and
AIDS. Session activities include lectures, discussions, role-plays,
games, and videos. Fathers are encouraged to set goals to work on between
sessions and are provided with take-home assignments after every session.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Dilorio, C., McCarty,
F., Resnicow, K., Lehr, S., & Denzmore,
P. (2007).REAL Men: A Group-Randomized
Trial of an HIV Prevention Intervention for Adolescent Boys. American
Journal of Public Health, 97
(6), 1084-1089.

Evaluated population: 273 father-son pairs served as
the study sample for this investigation. Sons were recruited from seven
Boys & Girls Clubs in metropolitan Atlanta.
All sons were between the ages of 11 and 14. 96% were African American.

Any son who did not have regular contact with his biological
father was invited to have another father figure take part in the program with
him. 40% of sons took part in the program with a biological father; 15%
took part with a step-father; 23% took part with another male relative (older
brother, uncle, or grandfather); and 22% took part with another male role model
(mother’s boyfriend or older male friend). 70%
of sons lived with their father or chosen father figure.

Approach: All sons were enrolled as members at Boys
& Girls Clubs. Club sites were randomly assigned to either the
treatment group or the control group. Father-son pairs at treatment sites
were invited to participate in the REAL Men program. Father-son pairs at
control sites were invited to participate in a seven-week nutrition and
exercise program.

The intervention is based on social cognitive theory.
All father-son pairs were surveyed at baseline and again 3, 6, and 12 months
later.

Results: At the 3-month follow-up, fathers and father
figures assigned to participate in the REAL Men program were significantly more
likely to report having talked to their sons about sex-related topics.
Though not significant at the 6-month follow up, this impact was once again
significant at the 12-month follow-up. At each follow-up, sons assigned
to the REAL Men program were more likely to report having talked about
sex-related topics with their fathers, but the difference was never more than
marginally significant.

Treatment boys were not significantly more likely than
control boys to report being sexually abstinent at the 3-month or 12-month
follow-up; however, they were more likely to report being abstinent at the
6-month follow-up. Non-experimental subgroup analyses were also
reported. Among those who reported being abstinent, treatment boys voiced
a greater intent to remain abstinent than did control boys at the 12-month
follow-up. Among those who reported not being abstinent, treatment boys
reported more frequent condom use than did control boys at the 12-month follow-up.

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

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References:

Dilorio, C., McCarty, F., Resnicow, K., Lehr, S., & Denzmore,
P. (2007).REAL Men: A Group-Randomized
Trial of an HIV Prevention Intervention for Adolescent Boys. American
Journal of Public Health, 97
(6), 1084-1089.

KEYWORDS: Middle Childhood (6-11), Adolescence (12-17),
Reproductive Health, STD/HIV/AIDS, Condom Use, Risky Sex, Sexual Initiation,
African American or Black, Urban, Community-Based, Home-Based, Mentoring, Parent or Family Component, Parent-Child Relationship

Program information last updated on
12/20/07.