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Medical News

Trial of an Urban Adolescent Sexual Risk-Reduction Intervention for Rural Youth: A Promising but Imperfect Fit

February 27, 2006

The authors of the current study sought to assess the effectiveness of Focus on Kids (FOK) -- a sexual-risk reduction program shown to be effective among African-American adolescents living in communities with high STD rates -- in reducing sexual risk behaviors among rural, white adolescents in communities marked by low rates of STDs.

A total of 1,131 youths ages 12-16 from 12 rural counties in West Virginia were included in the randomized, controlled, longitudinal study of a theory-based prevention intervention. The authors assessed self-reported sexual behaviors and perceptions at baseline and at three, six and nine months after intervention.

Twenty-one percent of study subjects were sexually experienced at baseline, and 80 percent of these participants reported using a condom at most recent intercourse. After adjusting for baseline differences at any follow-up period, rates of behaviors did not differ on intervention assignment (FOK vs. control group) among the full cohort or among the subset of participants who completed the intervention curriculum to which they were assigned. FOK positively influenced risk perceptions and protective behaviors at three, six and nine month follow-up in a manner consistent with the guiding model of behavioral change and the FOK curriculum.

"Consistent with previous studies of FOK in high-risk urban areas, some perceptions were positively altered by FOK in these rural areas, although many of these changes did not persist through 9 months of follow-up," the researchers concluded. "In contrast to previous studies, self-reported sexual risk behaviors did not decrease among FOK youth. FOK was not associated with any increases in sexual risk behaviors."

Back to other news for February 27, 2006

Adapted from:
Journal of Adolescent Health
01.06.06; Vol. 38; No. 1: P. 55.e25-55.e36; Bonita Stanton, Carole Harris, Lesley Cottrell, Xiaoming Li, Catherine Gibson, Jiantong Guo, Robert Pack, Jennifer Galbraith, Sara Pendleton, Ying Wu, James Burns, Matthew Cole, Sharon Marshall

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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