The United States (US) is currently experiencing a new type of epidemic. Annually millions of American adolescents are affected by sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), teen pregnancy and intimate partner violence (IPV)—epidemics that cost the country both socially and economically. STDs, teen pregnancy and IPV leave adolescents with lifelong burdens, adding to the social and economic costs of our country. Recently, evidence based sexual health education programs have become a national priority and strategy aimed at reducing incidence rates. These evidence based programs are more effective than traditional abstinence-only programs in reducing rates of STDs, teen pregnancy and IPV. Planned Parenthood is one organization that provides evidence based sexual health education to youth across the country. This study evaluated the effectiveness of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s sexual health education program taught at a residential treatment facility. The evaluation used a mixed methods design. Pre/Post tests were used to measure change in knowledge, a focus group with program participants was paired with an interview with a program educator to gain an understanding of the value and effectiveness of the program. All residents who attended the education program were females between 12-18 years of age. An increase in knowledge was found along with a general consensus that Planned Parenthood’s program was, overall, a better sexual health program than those attended by participants in their schools. Participants enjoyed the interactive features, nonjudgmental environment and small class size. They all expressed interest in a smart phone app as a source of supplemental material and medically accurate information. Results and recommendations were presented to Planned Parenthood.
Recommended CitationPowell, Rachel, "An Evaluation of a Sexual Health Education Program for Adolescents in a Residential Treatment Program in the Philadelphia Area" (2015). Master of Public Health Thesis and Capstone Presentations. Presentation 176.