Panel Paper: Expanding the Evidence Base through Replication: Findings from the Multi-Site Teen Pregnancy Prevention Replication Study

Thursday, November 2, 2017
McCormick (Hyatt Regency Chicago)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Meredith Kelsey1, Kimberly Francis1 and Jean Layzer2, (1)Abt Associates, Inc., (2)Belmont Research Associates

The federal Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, which began in 2010, included funding for programs that are intended to address high rates of teenage pregnancy by (1) replicating evidence-based models, and (2) testing innovative strategies. Funding was structured to maximize investments in programs that have been shown to be effective, but at the same time provide support for research and demonstration grants that provide an opportunity to add to the existing knowledge base. This tiered approach to funding underscores the cross-cutting nature of the problem and strategies to address it.

As part of this unprecedented investment in teen pregnancy prevention programming and evaluation, The Teen Pregnancy Prevention Replication Study was 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? The study tested multiple replications of three widely-used evidence-based program models. Including multiple program models expands the knowledge base, providing critical information about different strategies. With three replications of each program model, the impact estimates are more generalizable – going beyond a specific location, program sponsor, target population, or any other idiosyncratic aspects of an individual implementation. Including multiple sites, each with sufficient statistical power to address overall impacts, also improves researchers’ ability to address research questions pertaining to subgroups of participants defined by demographic characteristics and baseline risk behavior.

This presentation describes findings from multi-site studies of three program models: Reducing the Risk (RtR) – 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; the Safer Sex Intervention (SSI) – a clinic‑based program that targets female adolescents ages 14-19 who are sexually active; and ¡Cuidate!a program 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 focusing on the program impacts on sexual risk behaviors (sexual activity, use of contraception/condoms) and their consequences (pregnancy). Drawing on survey data collected 18-24 months after enrollment, the presentation includes a discussion of program impacts for each program model and subgroup and site-level variation within each model. The presentation will also describe how the research team made decisions about when and how to pool across sites for the analysis.