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- Published: 2021
- How did grantees operate and support PREP programs?
- What were the characteristics of PREP programs?
- Whom did PREP programs serve?
- How did youth respond to the PREP programs?
Rates of sexual initiation among teenagers have declined in recent decades in the United States, but risky sexual activity, teen pregnancies, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are still a concern. Nationally, 40 percent of high school-age youth have had sex (Kann et al. 2018), and some of them practice behavior that increases their risk of pregnancy and STIs. For example, 46 percent of sexually active youth did not use a condom in their most recent sexual intercourse, and 10 percent have had more than four sexual partners in their life (Kann et al. 2018). Teens account for nearly half of the 20 million new cases of STIs each year, and nearly 200,000 babies are born to teen mothers annually (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] 2013, 2017; Martin et al. 2018).
To help reduce the number of teen pregnancies and STIs, Congress authorized the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP). The Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services administers PREP. FYSB funds formula and competitive grants to U.S. states, territories, tribes, and local organizations to provide programming on teen pregnancy prevention and adulthood preparation subjects (APSs). FYSB and ACF’s Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation contracted with Mathematica to conduct the PREP Multi-Component Evaluation. As part of the evaluation, this report uses grantee-submitted data on performance measures to describe PREP programs in operation from 2013 to 2017.
The PREP performance measures data provide systematic information about program operations and outcomes for all PREP grantees, their provider organizations, the programs they operate, and the youth they serve. In this report, we examined nationwide trends for PREP between 2013 and 2017. The report also highlights differences between three different PREP funding streams: State PREP, Tribal PREP, and Competitive PREP.
Personal Responsibility Education Innovative Strategies (PREIS) grantees are not included in the report because they did not report the same performance measures during this period.
Key Findings and Highlights
- PREP operated at a large scale through many grantees and program providers. Grantees supported program implementation each year by providing training and ongoing technical assistance and by monitoring program implementation.
- Most grantees operated in school during the school day, implemented evidence-based programs, and covered at least three APSs.
- PREP programs served a diverse group of youth, including those at the highest risk of engaging in early and risky sexual activity.
- PREP participants reported positive impressions of the program and said that participating in PREP affected their intended behaviors.
- Many characteristics of the grantees, the programs they implemented, and the youth they served remained stable over time and were similar across funding streams.
This report analyzed measures that State, Tribal, and Competitive PREP grantees submitted for the 2013—2014, 2014—2015, 2015—2016, and 2016—2017 reporting periods. Data on PREP performance measures are reported at three levels: (1) grantee, (2) provider, and (3) program. Some measures are collected from individual participants in entry and exit surveys, but results are combined to the program level. Grantees submit performance measures to ACF annually through a web-based portal. The performance measures provided data on structure and support for implementing the program. Additional measures included attendance, reach, and dosage as well as measures of youth participants’ characteristics, sexual risk behaviors before the start of programming, experiences in PREP, and perceptions of program effects. Analyses for this report produced aggregated findings across grantees, providers, and programs.
Murphy, Lauren, Lara Hulsey, and Susan Zief (2021). PREP Performance Measures Final Report, OPRE Report # 2021-12, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Personal Responsibility Education Program
- Grantees were required to incorporate activities from at least three adulthood preparation subjects (APSs): (1) healthy relationships, (2) adolescent development, (3) healthy life skills, (4) parent-child communication, (5) educational and career success, and (6) financial literacy.