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CDC Releases Results of 2000 School Health Policies and Programs Study

September 21, 2001

The September issue of the Journal of School Health focuses on the results of the 2000 School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS). SHPPS 2000, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH), is the largest and most complete assessment of school health programs undertaken to date.

State-level data were collected from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. District-level data were collected from a nationally representative sample of public school districts and from dioceses of Catholic schools. School-level data were collected from a nationally representative sample of public and private elementary, middle/junior high, and high schools.

Questionnaires assessed health education, physical education and activity, health services, mental health and social services, food service, school policy and environment, and faculty and staff health promotion on the state, district, and school levels.

SHOP Talk will focus on results relating to health education. This article specifically focuses on those health education topics that are required and the topics and skills that were taught. The next issue of SHOP Talk will focus on SHPPS results relating to teacher preparation and training.

Requirements and Policies

State

  • 80% of states require all schools (elementary, middle/junior high, high school) to teach some kind of health education.
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  • 61% of states require the teaching of growth and development in elementary school, 62% in middle/junior high school, and 63% in senior high school.
  • 63% of states require the teaching of HIV prevention in elementary school, 71% in middle/junior high school, and 73% in senior high school.
  • 43% of states require the teaching of human sexuality in elementary school, 46% in middle/junior high school, and 47% in senior high school.
  • 28% of states require the teaching of pregnancy prevention in elementary school, 45% in middle/junior high school, and 45% in senior high school.
  • 43% of states require the teaching of STD prevention in elementary school, 59% in middle/junior high school, and 63% in senior high school.

District

  • Nationwide, 86% of districts require elementary schools, 90% require middle/junior high schools, and 89% require senior high schools to teach some health education.
  • 76% of districts require the teaching of growth and development in elementary school, 79% in middle/junior high school, and 81% in senior high school.
  • 59% of districts require the teaching of HIV prevention in elementary school, 82% in middle/junior high school, and 87% in senior high school.
  • 52% of districts require the teaching of human sexuality in elementary school, 70% in middle/junior high school, and 79% in senior high school.
  • 25% of districts require the teaching of pregnancy prevention in elementary school, 60% in middle/junior high school, and 77% in senior high school.
  • 39% of districts require the teaching of STD prevention in elementary school, 74% in middle/junior high school, and 81% in senior high school.

Schools

  • Most (96%) elementary, middle/junior high, and senior high schools require health education for students.
  • 84% of elementary schools, 81% of middle/junior high schools, and 80% of senior high schools require the teaching of growth and development.
  • 50% of elementary schools, 76% of middle/junior high schools, and 86% of senior high schools require the teaching of HIV prevention.
  • 57% of elementary schools, 76% of middle/junior high schools, and 82% of senior high schools require the teaching of human sexuality.
  • 19% of elementary schools, 55% of middle/junior high schools, and 80% of senior high schools require the teaching of pregnancy prevention.
  • 25% of elementary schools, 69% of middle/junior high schools, and 85% of senior high schools require the teaching of STD prevention.

Topics Taught in Schools

  • 41% of elementary schools, 92% of middle/junior high schools, and 96% of senior high schools reported teaching abstinence as the most effective method to avoid pregnancy, HIV, or other STDs in at least one required course.
  • 54% of middle/junior high schools and 83% of senior high schools reported teaching condom efficacy in at least one required course. (This question was not asked in elementary schools.)
  • 85% of elementary schools, 97% of middle/junior high schools, and 99% of senior high schools reported teaching how HIV is transmitted in at least one required course.
  • 21% of middle/junior high schools and 55% of senior high schools reported teaching how to correctly use a condom in at least one required course. (This question was not asked in elementary schools.)
  • 35% of elementary schools, 72% of middle/junior high schools, and 72% of senior high schools reported teaching marriage and commitment in at least one required course.
  • 33% of elementary schools, 62% of middle/junior high schools, and 87% of senior high schools reported teaching methods of contraception in at least one required course.
  • 50% of middle/junior high schools and 66% of senior high schools reported teaching sexual identity and sexual orientation in at least one required course. (This question was not asked in elementary schools.)

Skills Taught in Schools

  • 25% of elementary schools, 78% of middle/junior high schools, and 87% of senior high schools reported teaching communication skills related to sexual behaviors in at least one required course.
  • 33% of elementary schools, 74% of middle/junior high schools, and 84% of senior high schools reported teaching decision-making skills related to sexual behaviors in at least one required course.
  • 33% of elementary schools, 73% of middle/junior high schools, and 84% of senior high schools reported teaching how to find valid information or services related to HIV or HIV testing in at least one required course.
  • 48% of elementary schools, 79% of middle/junior high schools, and 90% of senior high schools reported teaching how to find valid information or services related to pregnancy or pregnancy testing in at least one required course.
  • 49% of elementary schools, 77% of middle/junior high schools, and 89% of senior high schools reported teaching how to find valid information or services related to STDs or STD testing in at least one required course.
  • 40% of elementary schools, 87% of middle/junior high schools, and 91% of senior high schools reported teaching resisting peer pressure to engage in sexual behavior in at least one required course.

Hours Spent

  • Health education teachers spent the following median number of hours on HIV prevention during their last class or course: elementary (1), middle/junior high (2), senior high school (3).
  • Health education teachers spent the following median number of hours on pregnancy prevention during their last class or course: elementary (1), middle/junior high (2), senior high school (3).
  • Health education teachers spent the following median number of hours on STD prevention during their last class or course: elementary (1), middle/junior high (2), senior high school (3).

Methods Used

  • 99% of schools used group discussions in at least one required health education class or course; 97% used cooperative group activities; 87% used visual, performing, or language arts; 85% used role play, simulations, or practice; 76% used guest speakers; 63% used peer teaching; 53% used the Internet; 48% used pledges or contracts for behavior change; and 41% used computer assisted instruction.

For more information: L. Kann et al., "Health Education: Results from School Health Policies and Programs Study 2000," Journal of School Health, September 2001, vol. 71, no. 7, pp 266-78.

See also: School Health Policies and Programs Study 2000 - Part II.



  
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This article was provided by Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. It is a part of the publication SHOP Talk: School Health Opportunities and Progress Bulletin.
 
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