Client(s): Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH)
Services: Applied Research & Evaluation, Training & Technical Assistance
Technical Expertise: Adolescent Health
The teen pregnancy rate in Massachusetts is relatively low, but varies from community to community. In communities with high rates, youth also face limited economic opportunity. To help reduce these disparities, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is funding, 15-18 community-based organizations provide evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs across the state of Massachusetts. These programs utilize any one of several curricula that have been shown to have significant positive effects on middle and high-school student's knowledge, attitudes, and behavior regarding healthy relationships, school performance, abstinence, and protection from sexually transmitted infections. JSI has supported these programs by providing technical assistance and training regarding logic models, evaluation methods, and data analysis for site-specific evaluations. JSI's primary responsibility is to design, implement, and analyze the results of a cross-site evaluation. JSI also processes all of the pre- and post-test forms and creates the evaluation database. Each year, pre-/post- test data for about 1,000 youth are added to the database.
The evaluation is ongoing, as are the programs themselves; the first evaluation report was completed in June 2008 for the data collected in 2006-2008 and the second report was completed in July, 2010 for data collected in 2009-2010. To date, all programs have improved student beliefs and attitudes around sexual activity; Making Proud Choices has had particularly promising results. Click on "view project publications" at the top of this page to download a copy or read the abstracts.