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"More Than a Dream" Teen Pregnancy Program: Randomized Controlled Trial

Note: This WestEd project was completed in 2016.

WestEd served as the external evaluation partner for a six-year randomized field trial of More Than a Dream, a teen pregnancy prevention program for 6th–8th graders.

More Than a Dream was an innovative combination of two evidence-based programs:

  • ¡Cuídate!, a culturally based youth curriculum consisting of six 60-minute modules delivered to small (6–10) mixed-gender groups
  • Salud y Éxito, a gender-based parent education program delivered through audio CDs designed specifically for parents

The study, led by the Education Development Center (EDC), tested whether the two programs, both as independent and as an integrated model, reduced sexual and related risk behaviors among youth participants.

The study was a multi-site randomized field trial conducted in Albuquerque, NM; Colorado Springs, CO; Kansas City, MO; and Miami, FL. Recruited parents and youth completed baseline surveys and were randomized to four conditions to examine the impact of variations of treatment services. The study recruited and randomized 1,304 youth across the four sites.

Outcome data were collected at 6, 12, and 18 months to examine both the combined impact of ¡Cuídate! and Salud y Éxito, and each program separately on sexual activities and a variety of risky behaviors. The study was completed in 2016.

Study Findings

Study findings revealed that the overall percentage of youth who engaged in sexual activity remained low across all groups at each follow-up period. There were no statistically significant differences for sexual initiation or risky sexual behavior at 12 months when any of the three treatment conditions were compared with the control group.

The general trends were positive and suggest that between the 6 to 18-month follow-up periods, the increase for reported sexual behavior was higher for the control group compared to each of the three treatment groups.

The findings were limited by small sample sizes due to challenges with recruiting eligible youth into the study and with retaining participants at follow-up, as well as by participants’ young age.