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Sch Inq Nurs Pract. 1999 Fall;13(3):211-34; discussion 235-8.

Evaluating the outcomes of parent-child family life education.

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University of California, Los Angeles, USA.


Conducted in diverse sociocultural communities in Los Angeles County, the project implemented and evaluated a family life education program designed to prevent the negative outcomes of risky sexual behavior. A sample of 251 male and female early adolescents 9 through 14 years of age participated with their parents in this abstinence-based adolescent pregnancy prevention program. The project sought to improve parent-child communications and delay the onset of sex-related behaviors through direct involvement of parents in the education process. Naturally occurring community groups were randomly assigned by site to treatment or delayed treatment conditions in a longitudinal quasi-experimental evaluation design. The evaluation demonstrated significant improvements in communication between parents and children immediately following the intervention; however, these improvements were no longer present 12 months postintervention. The process and outcome evaluation methods employed in the study triangulated qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis procedures. This combination provided other sources of data than the traditional outcome measures used in most evaluation studies, thus addressing some of the gaps in present program evaluations. Descriptions of the process evaluation, integrated with the outcome data, are intended to heighten nurses' awareness of the importance of this component of research and the rich qualitative data it may yield. The qualitative process components in the project captured the experience of the investigators when they encountered many of the complex challenges that confront researchers who implement and evaluate family life education programs among early adolescents. This experience provided the basis for suggested strategies that nurse clinicians and researchers can use in their work with early adolescents and their parents in clinical-, school-, and community-based settings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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