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July 15, 2016
Contact: ASH Press Office

Using evidence and evaluation to improve Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs

The HHS Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program today released findings from implementing and evaluating teen pregnancy prevention programs.

"Preventing teen pregnancy is critical to ensuring that young people reach their educational and life goals,” said Karen B. DeSalvo, M.D., M.P.H., M.Sc., acting assistant secretary for health.  “By investing in rigorous evaluation and releasing its findings, the Office of Adolescent Health is making significant advancements in the field of teen pregnancy prevention – ensuring that these programs are both effective and efficient."

Since 2010, the OAH TPP Program has reached nearly half a million youth in 39 states and the District of Columbia, established over 3,800 community partnerships, and trained more than 6,100 program facilitators.

OAH has also made a substantial contribution to the field of evidence-based programming using rigorous evaluation methods to conduct 41 evaluations, 90 percent of which were randomized controlled trials. Two types of Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) grants were rigorously evaluated:

  1. Replications of evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs were implemented in different settings and/or with different populations than where originally shown to be effective.  Four were found effective in changing behavior in these additional, new settings and populations, and many more reported changes in participant’s knowledge, attitudes, and intentions to avoid risky behaviors.
  2. New and innovative approaches to preventing teen pregnancy were also evaluated. Eight new programs had an impact on behaviors that prevent teen pregnancy and meet criteria to be considered an HHS evidence-based program.

"Using rigorous evaluations helps build a body of evidence for where, when, and with whom specific programs are most effective," said Evelyn Kappeler, OAH Director.  "OAH’s findings are giving communities a wider array of programs with demonstrated effectiveness from which to choose."

Moving forward, OAH is using the results to make continuous improvements to the program and is on track to reach an additional 1.2 million youth during the next five years.  The TPP Program is focused on teen pregnancy prevention in communities in which teen pregnancy rates remain high.

The United States teen birth rates are at historic lows and there have been substantial declines in all 50 states and among all racial and ethnic groups, according to a recent report released by the CDC. Between 2010 and 2014, the U.S. teen birth rate declined 29 percent. However, racial and ethnic disparities persist. In 2014, the teen birth rate per 1,000 women aged 15-19 years among whites was 17, among blacks, 35, and among Hispanics, 38. Preliminary data for 2015 released by CDC in early June show that teen birth rates continued to decline an additional 8 percent from 2014 to 2015.

For more information on the findings from the OAH TPP Program go to:

Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other news materials are available at https://www.hhs.gov/news.
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Last revised: July 15, 2016

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