The proportion of teenagers engaging in sex has declined in recent decades, but risky sexual activity, teen pregnancies, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) remain a concern. Nationally, 40 percent of high school-age youth report having ever had sex, and some of these youth behave in ways that increase their risk of pregnancy and STIs (Kann et al. 2018). For example, 46 percent of sexually active teens did not use a condom when they most recently had sex, and 10 percent reported more than four sexual partners. 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 each year (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] 2013, 2017; Martin et al. 2018).
To help reduce 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) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) administers PREP. 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 brief uses grantee-submitted data on performance measures to describe PREP programs in operation from 2013 to 2017.
- What were the characteristics of PREP programs?
- Whom did PREP programs serve?
- How did youth respond to the PREP programs?
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 interactive brief, we highlighted key findings for PREP between 2013 and 2017.
Key Findings and Highlights
- PREP operated at a large scale through many grantees and program providers.
- Most grantees operated in school during the school day.
- 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
This brief 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, but results are combined to the program level. Grantees submit performance measures to ACF annually through a web-based system. The performance measures provided data on structure and support for implementing the program; attendance, reach, and dosage; and youth participants’ characteristics, sexual risk behaviors before the start of programming, experiences in PREP, and perceptions of program effects. Analyses in for brief produced aggregated findings across grantees, providers, and programs.
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.
Hulsey, Lara, Lauren Murphy, and Susan Zief (2021). PREP Performance Measures Interactive Brief, OPRE Report #2021-11, 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.