Evaluation of a Randomized Intervention to Delay Sexual Initiation Among Fifth Graders Followed Through the Sixth Grade
Koo, H. P., Yao, Q., Rose, A., & El-Khorazaty, M. N. (2005, December). Evaluation of a Randomized Intervention to Delay Sexual Initiation Among Fifth Graders Followed Through the Sixth Grade. Presented at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.
Sixteen Washington D.C. schools were randomized into intervention versus control conditions in 2001-2002. Fifth graders in intervention schools received 11 classroom sessions addressing academic and life goals; decision-making, peer influence, communication skills; puberty; and abstinence. Students were followed into the sixth grade. Four of the 16 schools lacked sixth grades and were replaced by four schools with sixth grades. Sixth graders in intervention schools received 13 sessions, including additional sessions on relationships, STDs, HIV, and contraception. Parents were also invited to attend parenting workshops addressing similar issues during both school years. Students completed questionnaires pre- and post-intervention each year, yielding longitudinally linked surveys over four times. In the fifth grade, 562 students (289 intervention, 273 control) completed pre- surveys and 506 post- surveys (269 intervention, 237 control). In the sixth grade, these figures were 623 (354, 269) and 572 (284, 288). We estimated models (separately by gender) to test for the impact of the intervention over the four time points on: knowledge about puberty of own and opposite gender; attitudes towards abstinence and using refusal skills to having sex; perceptions of abstinence as a peer norm; anticipating sexual activity in the next 12 months; and ever having had sex. We used a linear hierarchical model to account for clustering within schools and among time points, and to adjust for individual characteristics. Results showed a positive impact of the intervention on knowledge of puberty of the opposite gender among both genders (p=0.046, p=0.0450). Significant results were not found for other outcomes.