Evaluating the ‘Wise Guys’ Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program in North Carolina
- Despite steady declines during the past 20 years, teen birth rates in the U.S. are higher than those of other countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom
- We are conducting implementation analyses of a North Carolina teen pregnancy program aimed at young men
- The study results should help determine the effectiveness of the program and lead to refinements and improvements
Despite steady declines during the past 20 years, teen birth rates in the U.S. are higher than those of other countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom. Studies and teen pregnancy prevention (TPP) initiatives often target adolescent females. Less is known about males. The focus on that population is increasing, but as of 2015, there were few changes to evidence-based TPP programs designed for males.
This project was intended to assess the impact of the Children’s Home Society (CHS) of North Carolina’s Wise Guys program, which helps male adolescents make better choices about pregnancy prevention. Funding cuts made an impact study impractical, however, so the CHS/Abt Associates team decided to proceed instead with an implementation analysis.
The Abt evaluation team recruits roughly 300 9th-12th grade males each semester for five semesters from high schools within Iredell-Statesville Schools in North Carolina. Half of the recruits receive the Wise Guys curriculum. The Abt team completed a community needs assessment. It developed a robust data collection toolkit that includes participant attendance logs, fidelity monitoring tool, baseline youth survey, youth feedback survey, and staff feedback survey. The team will continue to collect data through March 31, 2018, including baseline and short-term follow-up data. We will facilitate up to six focus groups to provide context for our findings.
We developed a participant focus group guide to gather in-depth information from participants about perceived usefulness or applicability of the Wise Guys content, strengths and weaknesses of the program, and other thoughts about their experiences. This rich qualitative feedback will help determine whether the program was effective in helping teen males learn about teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, healthy relationships, and concepts of manhood and masculinity that are healthier than the dominant ones in teen male culture. During the final three months of the project, we will focus on data cleaning, analysis, and creating the final report.