Primary Sources: Prioritizing Youth Development in a Clinic-Based Teen Pregnancy Intervention

Photograph of a teen couple smiling.

A Clinic-Based, Youth Development Approach to Teen Pregnancy Prevention” (PDF, 444 KB), American Journal of Health Behavior, Vol. 35, Issue 3, May/June 2011.

What it’s about: This article highlights Prime Time, a program that aims to reduce the likelihood that teenage girls will make risky sexual choices, such as having  unprotected sex or multiple partners. At a health clinic, girls attend monthly sessions with a case manager to learn how to have better relationships. They also learn from other teens who act as peer educators, and they take part in community service learning projects. At their high school, the girls take a job skills course. Researchers at the University of Minnesota are studying Prime Time to measure how well it works.

Why read it: The article outlines the steps Prime Time’s designers have taken to create a health services program that builds on young people’s strengths.

Biggest takeaways for youth workers: Although the researchers have not yet finished their evaluation of how well Prime Time works, they have lessons to share with others working to prevent teen pregnancy. They say that basing a teen pregnancy prevention program in a clinic is a good way to target adolescents at high risk for teen pregnancy and to give teens one-on-one attention.

The authors also discuss the challenges they have faced and how have they responded. For example, they have found that case managers need a limit on the number of girls they see. That way each girl can have a substantive monthly visit with her case manager.

Staff members have also needed help focusing on the positive when the youth they work with have so much stress in their lives. For a youth development approach to work, staff members need ongoing training and support from their supervisors, the authors say.

Additional reference: If you’re interested in seeing the results of this study in another format, the researchers have also prepared a slideshow presentation (PDF, 2.83 MB) explaining their program. The National Institutes of Health have additional information on the Prime Time intervention and potential for use in the future.

For more teen pregnancy prevention resources, read NCFY’s “Best of NCFY 2011: Teen Pregnancy Prevention Series.” NCFY also offers extensive resources on Positive Youth Development, including one of our most popular publications “Putting Positive Youth Development Into Practice” and our accompanying free online course “Introduction to Positive Youth Development.”

(Publications discussed here do not necessarily reflect the views of NCFY, FYSB or the Administration for Children and Families. Go to the NCFY literature database for abstracts of this and other publications.)


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