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Effects of a Worksite Parenting Program

2014-08-27 03:38:56 | BioPortfolio

Summary

Many adolescents in the U.S., even very young adolescents, are engaging in sexual risk behaviors that put them at risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and unintended pregnancy. Studies show that parents can play a significant role in promoting healthy sexual development and risk reduction among adolescents. The UCLA/RAND Center for Adolescent Health Promotion has developed Talking Parents, Healthy Teens, a worksite-based parenting program for parents of adolescents (grades 6-10) to improve parent-adolescent communication and reduce adolescent sexual risk behaviors. We are evaluating the effectiveness of the program primarily with confidential surveys of the participants before and after the program.

Description

Many adolescents in the U.S., even very young adolescents, are engaging in sexual risk behaviors that put them at risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and unintended pregnancy. Studies show that parents can play a significant role in promoting healthy sexual development and risk reduction among adolescents. Parenting approaches such as engaging in open and responsive communication, providing appropriate levels of supervision, and keeping involved in children’s lives are associated with better adolescent outcomes. However, many parents are uncertain about how to talk with their adolescents about sex. Worksites provide an untapped but promising setting in which to reach parents to help them develop parenting and communication skills.

The UCLA/RAND Center for Adolescent Health Promotion has developed a worksite-based parenting program for parents of adolescents (grades 6-10) to improve parent-adolescent communication and reduce adolescent sexual risk behaviors. Specifically, the Center has developed Talking Parents, Healthy Teens for parents with adolescent children to teach communication skills as well as basic facts about sex and other important adolescent issues. The program aims to help parents understand adolescent development and the changes in adolescents’ thoughts and feelings about sexual issues and other risk behaviors. It helps parents develop skills for discussing sensitive but important topics with their adolescents, and for teaching their adolescents decision-making and problem-solving skills. The program also emphasizes the importance of parents knowing what is going on in their adolescents’ lives (often called parental monitoring). Although parents feel a need for help on such issues, they often tend to be too busy to attend ongoing programs. Therefore, we bring the program to them at their worksite. The program involves groups of about 12-15 parents who meet for an hour at lunch-time once a week for eight consecutive weeks. We serve a free lunch during the sessions.

We are evaluating the effectiveness of the Talking Parents, Healthy Teens program primarily with confidential surveys of the participants before and after the program. We also ask participants’ adolescents (who are not in the parenting program) to fill out surveys as well. Among parents who initially express interest in the program, we randomize parents after they complete their baseline survey into an intervention group that takes the parenting program and a control group that does not. Both of these groups fill out confidential surveys over the course of several years. After the study has been conducted at a number of worksites, the research team will statistically compare survey answers for the two groups to see how well the program works. The results of the evaluation will be submitted for publication in academic journals.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Active Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Prevention

Conditions

Adolescent Sexual Risk Behaviors

Intervention

Talking Parents, Healthy Teens

Location

RAND
Santa Monica
California
United States
90407

Status

Active, not recruiting

Source

RAND

Results (where available)

View Results

Links

Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:38:56-0400

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