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ERIC Number: ED510850
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
What Works Clearinghouse Quick Review of the Report "Efficacy of a Theory-Based Abstinence-Only Intervention Over 24 Months"
What Works Clearinghouse
The study examined whether a theory-based abstinence-only education program could reduce sexual behavior over a 24-month follow-up period. The study recruited sixth- and seventh-grade volunteers from four public middle schools serving low-income African-American communities in a city in the northeastern United States. The study authors randomly assigned 134 students to an abstinence-only education program and 134 to a general health promotion program targeting health issues unrelated to sexual behavior. Similar numbers of students were assigned to three other sex education intervention conditions (not discussed here). The primary outcome--whether the student had ever had sexual intercourse--was measured with a survey at the conclusion of the 24-month follow-up period. Other sexual behaviors were measured with five follow-up surveys, spanning the 24-month period. Effects were estimated by comparing outcomes of students in the abstinence-only education program to those of students in the general health promotion program. The research described in this report is consistent with WWC evidence standards. Its strength is that this is a well-implemented randomized controlled trial. Of the students who had not had intercourse prior to the intervention, 49% of students in the general health promotion group reported that they had intercourse by the 24-month follow-up, compared with 34% in the abstinence-only group, a statistically significant reduction of more than 30%. Among all participants, fewer students in the abstinence-only group (21%) than in the health-promotion group (29%) reported having sexual intercourse in the past three months; this difference was statistically significant. There were no statistically significant differences in the reports of having multiple partners or having unprotected sex between these two groups. This quick review cautions that estimating effects on multiple outcomes increases the possibility that some results may be found to be statistically significant by chance. The authors do not adjust for this possibility in their analysis. [The following study is reviewed herein: Jemmott III, J. B., Jemmott, L. S., & Fong G. T. (February 2010). "Efficacy of a theory-based abstinence-only intervention over 24 Months: A randomized controlled trial with young adolescents." Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 164(2), 152-159.]
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 6; Grade 7; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: What Works Clearinghouse (ED)
IES Funded: Yes