originally developed for use with incarcerated male adolescent drug
users between 16 and 18 years of age, consists of four one hour small
group sessions focusing on health education issues, particularly HIV/AIDS.
Adapting techniques of Problem Solving Therapy, the facilitator guides
eight-person groups in discussing the following topics: general health,
HIV and AIDS, drug abuse and its consequences, sexual behavior, health
and AIDS-risk behaviors, and strategies for seeking health and social
services. Active learning is emphasized, with opportunities for youths
to define high-risk attitudes and behaviors, suggest alternative actions
and engage in role play and rehearsal activities. A field study of
the curriculum compared the attitudes and behaviors of RHAP participants
with those of a comparison group of teens, selected from a waiting
list for the program. Both samples were predominantly African-American
and Hispanic. Following the intervention, program participants were
more likely to use condoms during intercourse, compared to the comparison
group of teens.
RHAP is appropriate
for school- or community-based programs serving high risk teens, especially
drug users and incarcerated youth. Although it was initially targeted
toward males, the curriculum is equally pertinent for females. Single-sex
discussion groups are recommended.
The original sample
included 110 males, ages 16 to 18 years (avg.= 17.8).
64% African-American, 33% Latino, 3% other.
This is a two-week
intervention. Two one-hour group sessions are held each week, for
a total of four sessions.
One leader is
required for each group of approximately eight participants. Leaders
should be the same sex as the teens in their group; they must also
be comfortable working with high-risk youths and knowledgeable about
drug use/abuse. For training, a thorough review of the curriculum
and strategies for facilitating group sessions is recommended.