Evaluating Minnesota's Teen Outreach Program
- The Teen Outreach Program (TOP®) is a pregnancy prevention program.
- Abt evaluated the program in Hennepin County, Minnesota.
- The results showed program impact and how it was implemented.
In 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funded 16 grantees, including Hennepin County, Minn., to replicate and evaluate evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs.
Abt Associates conducted a rigorous evaluation of Hennepin County’s Teen Outreach Program (TOP®), a school-based youth development and service learning program. TOP is implemented in middle and high school classrooms by staff from community agencies with the help of classroom teachers.
Abt used an experimental evaluation design to determine the effect of TOP on reducing sexual risk-taking behavior among teens in the program. A complementary mixed-method implementation study combined program output and fidelity data with data from on-site key informant interviews to answer questions about the extent to which the TOP model was fully implemented and what it takes to replicate TOP in the local context.
The two goals of the evaluation were to (1) determine if TOP had favorable impacts on students’ level of sexual activity, and (2) understand how TOP was implemented to provide context for the impact findings. The Abt study did not find favorable impacts, unlike a previous study. The study did explain possible reasons for the divergence and suggestions for further research. Read the final report.