Philliber, S., Williams Kaye, J., Herrling, S. & West, E. (2002). Preventing Pregnancy and Improving Health Care Access among Teenagers: An Evaluation of the Children's AID Society-Carrera Program

Article excerpt

Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 34, 244-251.

Although the existing evaluation research literature demonstrates that properly developed and implemented sexual health education programs can help youth significantly reduce sexual risk behaviours, only a small number of long-term controlled behavioural evaluations of programs specifically targeting teen pregnancy have been conducted to date. In their report, Philliber et al. present the findings from a longitudinal, randomized controlled trial of a teenage pregnancy prevention program based on the Children's Aid Society (CAS)--Carrera Model.

The CAS-Carrera program is a year-round after school program targeting disadvantaged 13- to 15-year-olds. The program consists of seven parts: five activity components and two service components. The five activity components are: (1) a work related intervention called Job Club that includes stipends; (2) an academic assistance program that includes tutoring and SAT preparation; (3) comprehensive family life and sexuality education; (4) arts workshops (music, dance, writing, drama); and (5) an individual sports (as opposed to team sports). The two service components were mental health care (individual counselling and group discussions) and medical care which included physical exams, testing for STDs, and access to a wide range of contraceptives with condoms always being available. Participants attend the program for 2-3 hours every day after school during the school year. Program participants also attend periodic sessions during the summer.

Philliber et al. report on an evaluation of the program at six youth agencies in New York City. At each site, 100 students aged 13 to 15 were recruited to participate in the study. Students were then randomly assigned to either a program or control group. At baseline, the sample consisted of 242 male and female program participants and 242 male and female control participants. The control group students received each agency's regular less intensive youth program. Study data were collected at baseline and during a 3-year follow-up period (81% of the original sample completed the follow-up). …