PASHA Field Test: A Window on the World of Practitioners
The United States teen birth rate-the highest in the Western developed world-has been a concern for researchers and practitioners. While both these groups have valuable insights to offer each other in addressing teen pregnancy and related issues, they often work apart, separated by different perspectives, language and purpose. Bridging the gap between research and practice is an important focus of Sociometrics' work.
PASHA Field Test: A window on the world of practitioners, exemplifies our ongoing efforts to foster closer collaboration between researchers and practitioners. This volume documents our experience conducting a replication study of programs from PASHA-The Program Archive on Sexuality, Health and Adolescence. PASHA is a collection of promising prevention programs judged by a Scientist Advisory Panel to be effective in changing sexual risk-taking behaviors among youth. In the Field Test, practitioners across the country re-implemented and re-evaluated PASHA programs using packages prepared by Sociometrics. In launching the Field Test, we asked two questions. First, could the program be packaged? That is, could we design packages that were comprehensive, attractive and usable by practitioners? Second, would these programs remain effective when implemented in new settings? As work on the project got underway, we recognized that the Field Test offered a unique opportunity for us to learn more about practitioners' work environment-the challenges they faced in areas such as gaining community support, adapting program materials and retaining participants and the solution they developed to address those challenges.
The PASHA Field Test: A window on the world of practitioners begins with an overview of the PASHA project. In the following three chapters-Setting Up a Program, Implementing a Program, and Evaluating a Program-we share what we learned about practitioners' experiences gained while transforming the program package materials into actual programs and evaluations. In the fifth chapter, we describe our analysis and findings from the Field Test. The concluding chapter brings together the practice and research world, summarizing the lessons learned from the PASHA Project.
In sharing our experience from the PASHA Field Test, we hope to enhance future efforts by researchers and practitioners to address teen pregnancy and to encourage closer links between the two worlds.