Replicating Evidence-Based Programs: Early Findings from the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Replication Study
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
The Teen Pregnancy Prevention Replication Study is a large federally funded rigorous evaluation designed to address the question of what happens when you replicate evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs multiple times, in different settings and with different populations? Do you get the same effects as the original evidence? As part of an unprecedented investment in teen pregnancy prevention programming and evaluation, the study is testing multiple replications of three widely-used evidence-based program models to determine their effectiveness across different settings and populations. Including multiple program models expands the knowledge base, providing critical information about different strategies. With three replications of each program model, the impact estimates will be more generalizable – going beyond a specific location, program sponsor, target population, or any other idiosyncratic aspects of an individual implementation. This presentation focuses on early findings from the study about program impacts on sexual risk behaviors directly related to teen pregnancy (sexual activity, use of contraception/condoms, number of partners, etc.). Drawing on survey data collected 6-12 months after enrollment, the presentation will include a discussion of program impacts on behaviors as well as on the intermediate outcomes that are believed to be related to teen pregnancy (attitudes, skills, motivation, and intentions).
The three program models selected for the study have the common goals of preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. However, they vary in program focus, service delivery strategy and populations targeted. Safer Sex (SSI) is a clinic‑based program that targets female adolescents ages 14-19 who are sexually active—a group that is at very high risk for teen pregnancy. Reducing the Risk (RtR), by contrast, is a curriculum‑based program, widely used in classroom settings (as well as some community-based settings) with students, a majority of whom are not yet sexually active, even in high risk communities, such as those targeted by the TPP Program. ¡Cuidate! falls between the two extremes, geared toward Latino adolescents 13-19 who are at high risk for HIV/AIDS, not all of whom are sexually active at the time they receive the program.
The study is strengthened by the fact that all of the replications were implemented with fidelity—the funding agency ensured strong implementation by requiring grantees to define, measure, and adhere to fidelity to the program model. This ensures consistency across replications and provides confidence that the evaluation is examining the strongest possible implementations. These early findings are an important first step in understanding what it takes to replicate programs and to take them to scale. The study will ultimately address questions about whether evidence holds up over time, and will provide crucial information to the field about current programming efforts to address risk behaviors among youth.