Multifaceted, sustained efforts are needed to reduce early pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases among high-risk adolescents. An important area for research is testing youth development interventions offered through clinic settings, where access to high-risk adolescents is plentiful and few efforts have rigorously evaluated a dual approach of building protective factors while addressing risk. This article presents findings from a pilot study of Prime Time, a clinic-based youth development intervention to reduce sexual risk behaviors among girls at risk for early pregnancy. Girls aged 13 to 17 years meeting specified risk criteria were assigned to Prime Time treatment groups. The Prime Time intervention included a combination of case management services and peer leadership groups. Participants completed self-report surveys at baseline, 12 and 18 months following enrollment. At 12 months, the intervention group reported significantly fewer sexual partners than the control group. At 18 months, the intervention group reported significantly more consistent condom use with trends toward more consistent hormonal and dual method use. Dose-response analyses suggested that relatively high levels of exposure to a youth development intervention were needed to change contraceptive use behaviors among adolescents at risk for early pregnancy. Given promising findings, further testing of the Prime Time intervention is warranted.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cooperative agreements nos. U48 CCU513331 and U48 DP000063-02, PI: Resnick) and the WEM Foundation to the University of Minnesota Prevention Research Center.
- adolescent sexual behavior
- case management
- peer education
- service learning