School-Linked Reproductive Health Services (The
Originally launched as a partnership between junior and senior high schools
and a neighborhood clinic, this program combines education, counseling, and
reproductive services into a comprehensive intervention for youth. Services
are provided by a team of nurses and social workers who divide their time between
the schools and clinic. School-based components include: (1) at least one presentation
to each homeroom class per semester to introduce the program and begin discussing
values clarification, decision making, and reproductive health; ( 2) informal
discussion groups that arise as students seek advice and information from staff
on such themes as pubertal development, drug use, and parenting; and (3) individual
counseling sessions, available as needed, with a social worker. At the clinic,
reproductive and extended counseling services are provided, and referrals are
given for teens requiring medical care. Staff encourage students waiting for
appointments to participate in discussion groups and examine educational videos
and pamphlets. A three-year field test of the intervention was conducted in
a low-income neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland, where elevated rates of sexual
activity and teen pregnancy had been recorded. Compared to their peers attending
comparable schools, students in the target schools showed reduced levels of
sexual activity and (among the sexually active) more effective use of contraception.
These effects were greatest among the younger, sexually active girls and boys
whose use of contraception was minimal at the start of the program. A delay
in the onset of sexual activity was also recorded among abstinent youth. View
more detailed information on this program.
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