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Reducing the Risk

Implementation Setting: 
High school
Intervention Length: 
10 to 20 sessions
Age Group: 
Race / Ethnicity: 
Outcomes Affected: 
Contraceptive use and consistency
Study Rating: 

Program Summary

Reducing the Risk: Building Skills to Prevent Pregnancy, STDs & HIV is a 16-session program focused on the development of attitudes and skills that will help teens prevent pregnancy and the transmission of STDs, including HIV. This approach addresses skills such as risk assessment, communication, decision-making, planning, and refusal strategies.

Read the full Implementation Report, which includes:

  • Program Overview
  • Program Components
  • Implementation Requirements and Guidance
  • Implementation Readiness Assessment

Interview with the Program Developer

See the materials below to hear from the program developer.

Reducing the Risk webinar slides

Slides, Audio, Transcript

Advice from the Field

OAH has compiled lessons learned and advice related to implementation and cost implications of Reducing the Risk from TPP grantees. The information below is intended to provide useful tips and overall feedback that organizations should consider when choosing and implementing Reducing the Risk.

Program Components

  • Consider adding activities or lessons related to puberty and anatomy, especially if many of the youth lack this knowledge. Consider using the Reducing the Risk anatomy guide located in the appendix as an anatomy lesson so participants can understand the program’s content.
  • Visit the program space to ensure that you know what materials will be provided to you and what materials (e.g., post-it notes, DVD players/videos) you need to bring.
  • Provide a summary presentation about the Reducing the Risk curriculum to ensure that students are willing to be a part of the program. This presentation should focus on Reducing the Risk’s program structure that allows students to talk about sex in a safe environment.
  • Create activities that allow youth to exercise leadership throughout the course of the school year (e.g., developing Reducing the Risk leadership camps). This allows you to recruit peer leaders at the end of the program cycles to be an advocate of the program. Youth can be ambassadors for the program and provide mentoring for younger students.
  • Review the developers’ adaptation guidelines; they have a pretty extensive list of potential minor adaptations.
  • Consider minor adaptations to make Reducing the Risk more culturally sensitive (e.g., changing the language to be more inclusive of LGBTQ youth, provide information about intimate partner and domestic violence).

Staffing and Professional Development

  • Plan for professional development and training for staff beyond training on the Reducing the Risk program model. Budget in time and money for facilitators to get refresher and booster sessions.

Stakeholder and Parent Buy-in

  • Develop relationships with school officials, administrative staff, and faculty to have Reducing the Risk approved by the school board. This can assuage concerns about Reducing the Risk’s condom demonstration activities that may be raised by school administrators and parents.
  • Emphasize that Reducing the Risk covers a variety of skills, including goal setting and refusal and negotiation skills, which can be applied to their everyday lives. This can help with getting buy-in from the schools.

Read the list of potential adaptations that were previously implemented by OAH grantees for Reducing the Risk.

Read the research about Reducing the Risk on ASPE's website.

Content created by the
Office of Adolescent Health
Content last reviewed on
Friday, December 11, 2015