An Evaluation Plan for a Parent Based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program
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Almost half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended. In 2010 alone the cost of these pregnancies was estimated to be $21 billion. The problem is further compounded when dealing with teenage pregnancy. These include a higher risk for medical complications of pregnancy, a decreased likelihood to graduate from high school and a greater likelihood of teen mothers to have daughters who become adolescent mothers and sons with increased likelihood of incarceration. Among developed countries the US continues to have one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy at 57 per 1000 for the ages of 15-19 years. Texas currently has the 5th highest rate of teen pregnancy in the US. With regards to adolescent health, sexual education programs have traditionally focused on reducing the rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Research has shown, however, that best practice measures adopted the world over are ineffective. This includes traditional programs that focus on youth centres, peer to peer education and one time public meetings. Therefore, programs that concentrate on improving the parent to child communication regarding sex education are gaining in popularity. This approach could be promising in conservative states such as Texas where parental consent is often cited as an obstacle to the teaching of comprehensive sexual education. The purpose of this capstone is to develop an evaluation plan for a parent focused sex education program in Galveston County, Texas. The short term outcomes to be examined are participant satisfaction with the program; change in knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions regarding teen pregnancy and its prevention; and improved parental involvement and/or communication regarding sex education. The ultimate long term outcome under examination will be reducing teenage pregnancy rates in Galveston County.