A Study of a Pregnancy Prevention Program for Young Men

The public health issue: Philadelphia youth experience high rates of teen pregnancy, STIs and HIV as well as significant socioeconomic challenges. Prior teen pregnancy prevention interventions have primarily focused on women, while men’s roles in teen pregnancy have received relatively little attention. Men may be left out of pregnancy interventions despite initiating sexual activity at early ages and having teen female partners when they’re older. Through a five-year grant from the Office of Adolescent Health, PHMC’s Research & Evaluation Group, alongside PHMC’s Health Promotion Services (HPS), implement and rigorously evaluate a theater-based teen pregnancy intervention for young Philadelphia men.

Our contribution to the solution: The Research & Evaluation Group and HPS are partnering with three of Philadelphia’s E3 Power Centers, Valley Youth House and six Philadelphia City Recreation Centers to implement the theater-based program for black young men ages 15-22. Our team will recruit 840 young men for the study and conduct a series of interviews with each participant for a randomized control trial. We will also help program staff by measuring the fidelity and quality of the intervention through ongoing process evaluation.

With insights from focus groups and key informant interviews a program curriculum was tailored to the social and cultural factors impacting the intervention’s target population. This curriculum will help to reduce young men’s risks for teen pregnancy and strengthen protective factors that are associated with improved sexual decision-making and reduced likelihood of teen or unplanned pregnancy.