Teen pregnancy is an important societal issue that has far-reaching consequences in the United States. Variety Health Care's Teen Clinic teaches healthy behaviors and sexual education using the YLA and Cuidate curriculums for 8 weeks at four high schools in Oklahoma City. Students complete pretests and posttests regarding their knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors about sex. Not all students completed a posttest composed of the same questions. The purpose of our study is to learn how the two groups differ. We hypothesize that students who did not take the posttest may differ in baseline knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding sex possibly because they are engaged in risk-taking behaviors.
The study was approved by the institutional review board. Pretests and posttests were from 2012 to 2013 academic year. The YLA pretest was composed of 21 multiple-choice questions; the Cuidate was composed of 18 similar questions. Percentages of students who answered “agree” or “yes” or “true” were calculated and a two-tailed z test was used to calculate P values. Less than or equal to .05 was considered statistically significant.
In the YLA curriculum, 8 of 21 questions showed a statistically significant difference (n=61 pretest, n=405 pre/post), whereas, in the Cuidate group, 7 of 18 questions did (n=300 pretest; n=1,010 pre/post). Teens who only completed the pretest were less knowledgeable about abstinence and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), were more aware of the need to be tested for STDs, and they reported less pressure from friends to have sex; they were less likely to wait until a committed relationship to have sex and were more likely to report that they would have sex in the next 3 months.
These data suggest that students who did not complete the posttest may differ in their baseline knowledge and attitudes regarding sexual practices. This information may be useful to high school administrators to provide additional support and intervention for these at-risk students.
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Financial Disclosure: The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.