Short-Term Impact of Safer Choices: A Multicomponent, School-Based HIV, Other STD, and Pregnancy Prevention Program

Authors

  • Karin Coyle,

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      Karin Coyle, PhD, Director of Research, ETR Associates, P.O. Box 1830, Santa Cruz, CA 95061–1830

  • Karen Basen-Engquist,

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      Karen Basen-Engquist, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd., Box 243, Houston, TX 77030

  • Douglas Kirby,

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      Douglas Kirby, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, ETR Associates, P.O. Box 1830, Santa Cruz, CA 95061–1830

  • Guy Parcel,

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      Guy Parcel, PhD, Professor and Director, University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center, P.O. Box 20186, Houston, TX 77225

  • Stephen Banspach,

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      Stephen Banspach, PhD, Chief, Surveillance and Evaluation Research Section, Division of Adolescent and School Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MS-K33, 4770 Buford Highway, NE, Atlanta GA 30341–3724

  • Ronald Harrist,

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      Ronald Harrist, PhD, Associate Professor of Biometry, University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center, P.O. Box 20186, Houston, TX 77225

  • Elizabeth Baumler,

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      Elizabeth Baumler, PhD, Research Fellow, Center for Health Promotion Research and Development, University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center, School of Public Health, P.O. Box 20186, Houston, TX 77225

  • Marsha Weil

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      Marsha Weil, PhD, Executive Director, ETR Associates, P.O. Box 1830, Santa Cruz, CA 95061–1830.


Abstract

ABSTRACT: This study evaluated the effectiveness of the first year of Safer Choices, a theoretically based, multicomponent HIV, STD, and pregnancy prevention program for high school youth. The study featured a randomized trial involving 20 schools in California and Texas, with a cohort of 3,869 ninth-grade students. Students who completed both the baseline and the first follow-up survey approximately seven months later were included in the analysis (n = 3,677). Safer Choices enhanced 9 of 13 psychosocial variables including knowledge, self efficacy for condom use, normative beliefs and attitudes regarding condom use, perceived barriers to condom use, risk perceptions, and parent-child communication. Safer Choices also reduced selected risk behaviors. Specifically, Safer Choices reduced the frequency of intercourse without a condom in the three months prior to the survey, increased use of condoms at last intercourse, and increased use of selected contraceptives at last intercourse.

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