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Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Programs and Research: A Time To Revisit Theory
Year Published: 2016
American Journal of Public Health
American Public Health Association
Researchers evaluating adolescent pregnancy prevention programs have applied rigorous methods and careful reporting to ensure the technical quality of their investigations, yet findings are inconsistent. Evidence from evaluations of programs that aim to reduce adolescent pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and sexual risk behaviors is mixed, with some studies finding that programs produce change while others do not. In this commentary, the authors argue that it may be time to critically revisit the theories underlying the programs being studied. They say that making sense of the variability across studies requires a critical examination of the processes by which the interventions are hypothesized to effect change. They call for developers and researchers to collaborate in efforts to identify, apply, and test new models of change.