Impacts of an Enhanced Family Health and Sexuality Module of the HealthTeacher Middle School Curriculum: A Cluster Randomized Trial (Journal Article)

Publisher: American Journal of Public Health, vol. 106, issue S1 (subscription required)
Sep 30, 2016
Brian Goesling, Mindy E. Scott, and Elizabeth Cook

Objectives: To evaluate the impacts of an enhanced version of the Family Life and Sexuality Module of the HealthTeacher middle school curriculum.

Methods: We conducted a cluster randomized trial of Chicago, Illinois, middle schools. We randomly assigned schools to a treatment group that received the intervention during the 2010–2011 school year or a control group that did not. The primary analysis sample included 595 students (7 schools) in the treatment group and 594 students (7 schools) in the control group.

Results: Students in the treatment schools reported greater exposure to information on reproductive health topics such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs; 78% vs 60%; P < .01), abstinence (64% vs 37%; P < .01), and birth control (45% vs 29%; P < .01). They also reported higher average scores on an index of knowledge of contraceptive methods and STI transmission (0.5 vs 0.3; P = .02). We found no statistically significant differences in rates of sexual intercourse (12% vs 12%; P = .99), oral sex (12% vs 9%; P = .18), or other intermediate outcomes.

Conclusions: The program had modest effects when tested among Chicago middle school students.