The Office of Population Affairs (OPA) Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program is a national, evidence-based program that funds diverse organizations working to prevent teen pregnancy across the United States. While there has been great progress in reducing teen pregnancy, the teen birth rate of 18.8 per 1,000 females ages 15–19 in 20171 is still much higher than other western industrialized nations.2 Young people ages 15–24 account for nearly one-half of all new cases of sexually transmitted diseases,3 and we continue to see disparities by race,1 ethnicity,1 and among the most vulnerable populations, including youth who are homeless, living in foster care, or involved with the juvenile justice system.4-6 OPA invests in both the implementation of evidence-based programs and the development and evaluation of new and innovative approaches to prevent teen pregnancy. The OPA TPP Program reaches adolescents ages 10-19, with a focus on populations with the greatest need in order to reduce disparities in teen pregnancy and birth rates.
Established in 2010 with a Congressional mandate to fund medically accurate and age-appropriate programs, the OPA TPP Program currently funds 91 grants to communities. Each of the 91 grants fall into one of the following categories:
- Implementing evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs – those proven through rigorous evaluation to reduce teen pregnancy, behavioral risk factors underlying teen pregnancy, or other associated risk behaviors – to scale using a holistic approach in safe and supportive environments, in trauma-informed ways, and with linkages and referrals to youth-friendly services to reach a large number of youth and communities;
- Building the capacity of youth-serving organizations to implement, evaluate, and sustain evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs;
- Supporting technology- and program-based innovations that are promising approaches to preventing teen pregnancy, but need further development before being ready for evaluation; and
- Rigorously evaluating new and innovative approaches to preventing teen pregnancy. These are designed to fill gaps in the current evidence base and include interventions for males, Latino, American Indian, and LGBTQ youth, and youth in the foster care and juvenile justice systems, as well as interventions that are technology-based and/or in clinics, schools, and communities.
- Developing and testing new and innovative strategies to prevent teen pregnancy and promote healthy adolescence.
Since its creation in 2010, the OPA TTP Program has served more than 1 million young people across 40 states, Washington D.C., and the Marshall Islands. Currently, the TPP Program serves nearly 250,000 young people per year. This program has trained more than 11,000 professionals and established partnerships with more than 3,600 community-based organizations across the United States each year. The OPA TPP Program has supported 65 rigorous, independent evaluation studies that significantly contribute to the field’s knowledge of where, when, and with whom programs are most effective. In September 2016, the American Journal of Public Health released a special issue focusing on findings from the TPP Program. In March 2014, the Journal of Adolescent Health released a supplement on implementing evidence-based TPP Programs. Learn more about the findings and impact of the first five years of the OAH TPP Program here.
More information about the TPP Program
1 Martin, J., Hamilton, B., and Osterman, M. Births in the United States, 2017, in NCHS Data Brief No. 318. 2018, National Center for Health Statistics: Hyattsville, MD.
2 Sedgh G, Finer LB, Bankole A, Eilers MA, Singh S. Adolescent pregnancy, birth, and abortion rates across countries: levels and recent trends. J Adolesc Health. 2015; 56(2): p. 223-30.
3 Satterwhite, C.L., et al., Sexually transmitted infections among US women and men: prevalence and incidence estimates, 2008. Sex Transm Dis, 2013. 40(3): p. 187-93.
4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Teen Pregnancy in the United States. Reproductive Health: Teen Pregnancy [cited 2018 January 9]; Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/about/index.htm.
5 James, S., et al., Sexual risk behaviors among youth in the child welfare system. Children and Youth Services Review, 2009. 31: p. 990-1000.
6 Sedlak, A.J. and C. Bruce, Youth's Characteristics and Backgrounds: Findings from the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Editors. 2010.