• February 2014
  • Vol. 15, No. 2

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Personal Responsibility Education

The Administration for Children and Families' Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) published a report evaluating the early implementation of a program that aims to reduce teen pregnancy. The Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) was authorized by Congress in 2010 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The ongoing evaluation is intended to increase the evidence base on teen pregnancy prevention programs and the knowledge about successes and challenges in replicating and scaling up these programs.

While State PREP grantees are allowed to design their programs, curricula must align with four requirements: programs must (1) be evidence-based; (2) provide education on abstinence and contraception use; (3) educate youth on a minimum of three of six adulthood preparation topics (healthy relationships, adolescent development, financial literacy, parent-child communication, education and employment skills, and healthy life skills); and (4) target high-risk populations, such as youth in foster care, adjudicated youth, minority youth, and pregnant or parenting teens.
Interviews with grantee officials in 44 States and the District of Columbia found the following: 

  • More than 90 percent of the 300,000 expected PREP participants will be served by evidence-based programs.
  • Three-fourths of the programs are targeting high-risk youth populations, primarily serving African-American and Hispanic youth, youth in foster care, and adjudicated youth.
  • Approximately half of State programs have assessed their program models to address both abstinence and contraception use.

Continued program implementation evaluation will be carried out through a second round of telephone interviews later this year, in addition to analysis of performance management data provided by grantees and the impacts of PREP-funded programs in four or five sites using a random assignment design. The report is the first by the PREP Multicomponent Evaluation led by Mathematica Policy Research.

The Personal Responsibility Education Program: Launching a Nationwide Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Effort, by Susan Zief, Rach Shapiro, and Debra Strong, is available on the OPRE website:

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/prep_eval_design_survey_report_102213.pdf (2 MB)

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