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Teen Outreach Program (TOP)

Study Findings

Evidence by Outcome Domain and Study

Citation Sexual Activity Number of Sexual Partners Contraceptive Use STIs or HIV Pregnancy

Allen et al. 1997

Uniformly positive impacts across the outcomes examined in this domain

Allen and Philliber 2001

n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

Daley et al. 2015

Uniformly positive impacts across the outcomes examined in this domain Uniformly positive impacts across the outcomes examined in this domain

Francis et al. 2015

Uniformly null impacts across the outcomes examined in this domain Uniformly null impacts across the outcomes examined in this domain
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Detailed Findings

CitationDetails

Allen et al. 1997

The program’s evidence of effectiveness was first established in a randomized controlled trial involving high school students in 25 school- and community-based sites across the United States. Within each study site, participants were randomly assigned, either individually or by classroom, to either a treatment group that received the program or a control group that received whatever regular curricula and programs each site provided. Surveys were administered immediately before the program started (baseline) and nine months later at the end of the program.

The study found that at the time of the 9-month follow-up survey, female adolescents participating in the program were significantly less likely to report they had become pregnant during the academic year of the program (odds ratio = 0.41, confidence interval = 0.26 to 0.64). The study did not estimate program impacts on male adolescents’ reports of having caused a pregnancy.

The study also examined program impacts on rates of school suspension and course failure. Findings for these outcomes were not considered for the review because they fell outside the scope of the review.

Allen and Philliber 2001

This quasi-experimental study received a low rating because it did not establish baseline equivalence for the final analysis sample.

Daley et al. 2015

A more recent study conducted by a separate group of researchers evaluated the program among a sample of 26 Florida high schools. The study randomly assigned schools in matched pairs to either a treatment group that offered the program during the regular school day or a control group that provided the regular school instruction. Surveys were administered before the program started (baseline), immediately after the program ended, and 10 months after the program ended.

Using data for the full sample of male and female adolescents, the study successfully replicated the favorable program impact on pregnancy reported in the earlier study by Allen et al. (1997). In particular, for the follow-up conducted at the end of the program, the study found that students in the treatment group were less likely to report ever having been pregnant (females) or gotten someone pregnant (males), and the reported effect size (odds ratio = 0.58) falls within the confidence interval for the effect size reported in the prior study by Allen et al. (confidence interval = 0.26 to 0.64). The study found a similar pattern of results for the longer-term follow-up survey conducted 10 months after the program ended (odds ratio = 0.51).

The study also found a statistically significant program impact on sexual activity rates. In particular, for the follow-up conducted at the end of the program, the study found that students in the treatment group were statistically significantly less likely to report ever having had sex (odds ratio = 0.84, confidence internal = 0.78 to 0.90). The study found no statistically significant program impact on this outcome for the longer-term follow-up survey conducted 10 months after the program ended.

Francis et al. 2015

A separate recent study evaluated the program among a younger sample of middle- and high-school students in Hennepin County, Minnesota. The study used a cluster randomized controlled trial involving 61 middle and high schools. In each participating school, students were randomly assigned by teacher to either a treatment group that received the program or a control group that provided the regular school instruction. Surveys were administered before the program started (baseline), and again three and 15 months after the program ended.

The study findings failed to replicate the favorable impact on sexual activity rates found in the separate study by Daley et al. (2015). In particular, the study found that students in the treatment group were no less likely than students in the control group to report ever having had sex (odds ratio = 1.33 for the 3-month follow-up survey, odds ratio = 3.14 for the 15-month follow-up survey). The study also examined program impacts on measures of recent sexual activity and recent unprotected sexual activity. The study found no statistically significant impacts on these outcomes for either follow-up survey. The study did not measure program impacts on pregnancy.

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Notes

Some study entries may include more than one citation because each citation examines a different follow-up period from the same study sample, or because each citation examines a different set of outcome measures on the same study sample. A blank cell indicates the study did not examine any outcome measures within the particular outcome domain or the findings for the outcome measures within that domain did not meet the review evidence standards.

Information on evidence of effectiveness is available only for studies that received a high or moderate rating. Read the description of the review process for more information on how these programs are identified.

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