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J Health Care Poor Underserved. 1998 Aug;9(3):322-40.

Peer counseling in a culturally specific adolescent pregnancy prevention program.

Author information

1
College of Pharmacy, Nursing, and Allied Health, Division of Nursing, Howard University, Washington, DC 20059, USA.

Abstract

This study evaluated the effects of peer counseling in a culturally specific adolescent pregnancy prevention program for African American females. A random pretest and multiple posttest experimental and comparison group design was used to obtain data on a sample of 63 female African American adolescents, ages 12 to 16, who lived in four public housing developments. Descriptive data and tests of significance revealed that none of the participants who received peer counseling became pregnant within three months of the intervention. Findings revealed a statistically significant increase in reproductive and other self-related knowledge topics among the experimental group when comparing pretest and eight-week posttest scores. Most participants had not had sexual intercourse; the average age of sexual onset was 12 years in the experimental group and 11 years in the controls. Designing and implementing culturally specific adolescent pregnancy prevention programs for adolescents younger than age 11 and/or before sexually active seems appropriate.

PIP:

The potential of peer counseling as a strategy in culture-specific adolescent pregnancy prevention programs was assessed in a sample of 63 female African Americans 12-16 years of age recruited from four public housing developments in Charlottesville, Virginia (US). A randomized pretest and multiple post-test experimental and comparison group design was used. Adolescents in the experimental group participated in an 8-week peer counseling program that imparted information and skills from an Afrocentric perspective. There was no intervention in the comparison group. At baseline, 76% of adolescents in the experimental group and 60% in the comparison group reported never having been sexually active. Among sexually active adolescents, the average age at first intercourse was 12 years in the experimental group and 11 years in the comparison group. Contrary to the expectation that exposure to the intervention would decrease episodes of sexual intercourse, sexual activity remained stable in both groups during the study period. None of the participants in either group became pregnant, however. There was a statistically significant increase over baseline in knowledge about reproduction, contraception, and sexually transmitted diseases in the experimental group at the 8-week post-test and scores were maintained at the 3-month post-test. There was no program effect on use of effective contraception. Culturally specific pregnancy prevention programs may be more effective if they target adolescents younger than 11 years old, before they become sexually active.

PMID:
10073212
DOI:
10.1353/hpu.2010.0291
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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