Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Science-Based Approach?

A Science-Based Approach includes the following:

  • Using demographic, epidemiological and social science research to identify populations at risk of early pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted infections, and to identify the risk and protective factors for those populations.
  • Using health behavior or health education theory for selecting risk and protective factors that will be addressed by the program, and guide the selection of intervention activities.
  • Using a logic model to link risk and protective factors with program strategies and outcomes.
  • Conducting process and outcome evaluation of the implemented program, and modifying approach based on results.

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What is a Science-Based Program?

Science-Based Programs are programs or curricula that have been rigourisly evaluated using an experimental or quasi-experimental evaluation design and resulted in at least one of the following among adolescents:

        • reducing STI and HIV infection
        • Delaying sexual initiation
        • Reducing the frequency of sexual intercourse
        • Reducing the number of sexual partners
        • Increasing the use of condoms and other contraceptives

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What is a Promising Program?

Promising Programs have been implemented and subjected to some evaluation showing positive outcomes in preventing teen pregnancy and related behaviors. However, they have not yet been sufficiently evaluated and/or had consistently positive outcomes required for science-based status. Nonetheless, Promising Programs are eligible to be elevated to science-based status once additional research regarding program effectiveness is completed. The hope is that promising programs, through additional refinement and evaluation, will evolve into science-based programs.

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What are some examples of Science-Based Programs for teen pregnancy prevention?

A number of organizations have developed summaries regarding the different science-based approaches. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy has created one document that outlines a variety of SBA and details the positive outcomes each program has displayed. This booklet, What Works, can be found at:

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Why should I choose a Science-Based Program?

There are many reasons why organizations choose to implement the programs. Some of the main reasons include:

    1. Science-based programs have been proven to be effective among multiple populations in different settings over time to change behavior. These programs work!
    2. Funders look to support programs that have a maximum return on their dollars.
    3. Increasingly, funders are becoming aware of the value of using rigorously evaluated programs and are likely to request that grantees use science-based programs and practices.
    4. Using research-proven programs is a more efficient use of limited resources.


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