Evaluation Of The
Teen-Aid Abstinence-Education Program
ďIíve Got Connections IIĒ
Prepared For Teen-Aid, Inc.
723 E. Jackson Avenue, Spokane, WA 99207
Raja S. Tanas, Ph.D.
Department of Sociology
Spokane, WA 99251-1105
Iíve Got Connections I & II (IGC I & II) is an abstinence-education program developed by Teen-Aid of Spokane, Washington. The program is designed to affirm, maintain and introduce teens to information and skill training therefore, moving their attitudes, values, and behavioral intentions toward abstinence until marriage. The effectiveness of the program was evaluated annually over the past three years. This is the fourth-year evaluation and is based on data gathered from 4,555 students during the school year 2005-2006. The program and its annual evaluations were sponsored by a federal grant under a HHS Administration for Children and Families/Community Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) formerly funded under Maternal and Child Bureau/Special Projects with Regional and National Significance (SPRANS).
The Iíve Got Connections program embraced two abstinence-education curricula that Teen-Aid has developed with the objective of helping teens abstain from all forms of sexual activity until marriage. The two curricula are Me, My World, My Future and the Sexuality, Commitment and Family. They covered age-appropriate and medically referenced material specifically tailored for junior high and senior high school students, respectively.
The method of research was the one-group pretest-posttest experimental design. Frequency and contingency tables in addition to t-test for dependent and independent samples were the primary statistical techniques employed for analysis.
Data for this evaluation were obtained online via the use of a self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire included ninety-five items that covered federal performance measures and abstinence education content consistent with the welfare reform requirements and funding.
The pretest data were used to generate profiles of the general sample and of the non-virgin students. The general sample included a slight majority of females and more than two in three were whites. Average age of students was 14 years and 9 months. More than two in five students belonged to households where the parentsí level of education was a high-school degree or less and where religion has played an important role in their lives. This is the second year in a row that parents were the most important source for birth control. One in eight students have had sexual intercourse at least once, a proportion that is below the national averages for comparable populations. Teachers were made aware of the studentsí risk factors following the pre test so that special emphasis could be added to that portion of the curriculum.
For a fourth year in a row (from IGC I and II), the research results indicated strong evidence that the objectives of the Teen-Aid program were fulfilled satisfactorily. Indeed, the program moved students toward a greater degree of commitment to abstinence until marriage. It impacted at least thirty-five variables that measured attitudes, values, knowledge, and future behavioral intentions relative to teen sex. The following is a list of the impacted variables.
After taking the Teen-Aid program, the students were more likely to agree that:
The sample was divided into sub-groups to examine the degree to which the program was effective for junior and senior high, male and female, white and non-white, virgin and non-virgin students. The results showed that the program had a varying degree of impact on the sub-groups, a finding that was expected in a research project of this nature. The greatest degree of impact of the program was on female students followed by senior high, whites, non-virgin, virgin, non-whites, junior high, and males.
No gender difference in virginity status was found suggesting a single standard governing sexual behavior among teens. While alcohol consumption, drug use, and cigarette smoking were strong correlates of non-virginity status, alcohol consumption was by far the best correlate for both male and female students.
The data also showed teacher variability in the degree to which the program was effective. Not all teachers were equally effective in teaching the subject matter. The results highlighted the need for continued teacher training especially for educators who taught the program for the first time.