developed for junior high school home economics classrooms, integrates
family life education with lessons on vocational exploration, interpersonal
and family relationships, decision-making and goal-setting. A key
premise of the intervention is that vocational planning can lead teens
to attractive alternatives to early sexual involvement and parenthood.
In addition, placing a strong emphasis on values, Project TAKING CHARGE
promotes abstinence as the correct choice for adolescents, and no
material on contraception is included. The curriculum comprises five
instructional units that are divided into 27 class lessons. There
are also three parent-youth sessions during which adults are encouraged
to communicate their own sexual values and assist teens in defining
and attaining occupational goals. A field study was conducted with
136 youths from three low-income communities with elevated rates of
teen pregnancy. Six months following the intervention, program participants
showed significant gains in knowledge of sexual development, STDs
and the risks of adolescent pregnancy, relative to a comparison group
of students. There was also some evidence, failing just short of significance,
that participation was associated with a delay in the initiation of
Although it was
originally implemented in school classrooms, this curriculum can also
be presented by health educators in community based organizations.
The field study
included 136 7th grade students, evenly divided by gender; of this
group, 60% were 12 years old and 34% were 13.
63% White, 29% African-American, 4% Latino, 4% other.
The six-week curriculum
contains five instructional units, with 27 class lessons.
Lessons are designed
for family life educators to use in their 7th grade classrooms. The
national office of Project Taking Charge offers workshops and materials
to help prepare instructors.