Abstract: Developing an Effective Primary Prevention Program for Adolescent Girls: From Conception to Dissemination (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

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264P Developing an Effective Primary Prevention Program for Adolescent Girls: From Conception to Dissemination

Friday, January 13, 2023
Phoenix C, 3rd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
Madison Rose, BA, MSW student, Arizona State University, AZ
Craig LeCroy, PhD, Professor, Arizona State University, Tucson, AZ
Background/Purpose Teen pregnancy is a prevalent issue in the country and adolescents receive 20% of all Sexually Transmitted Infection diagnoses yearly. Adolescent females face unique challenges in the age of social media, with body dissatisfaction, bullying, problems associated with sexual behaviors, and heighted rates of depression. The unique consideration between adolescent males and females suggests a need for gender specific sexual risk reduction programming. Stemming from the lack of programming specific to female identifying adolescents, "Empowering Adolescent Girls curriculum, "Go Grrrls" was conceptualized. This program focuses on the gender specific psychological, biological, and social changes that occur in adolescence.

Methods: The initial phase focused heavily on a systematic review of social science research. Operating concurrently, pilot testing of the “girls’ curriculum” was conducted utilizing a five-year grant from the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. Dropout/attrition is a significant problem among prevention pilots particularly in voluntary programs, however, the attrition rate for this program was low due to high levels of satisfaction from the participants. Curriculum development was ongoing based on participant feedback on activities and program implementation. After the pilot, it was determined to move forward with a Quasi-Experimental Study utilizing a control group and intervention group to gauge program effectiveness. Culturally diverse female identified adolescents (N=54) volunteered to participate in the Go Grrrls program and were compared with those attending P.E. class. The experimental groups met after school for 12 weeks. A total of five measures were used to evaluate the program. The next stage was to complete a Randomized Experimental Study following the promising results. Culturally diverse participants (N=118) were recruited to participate in the study. Program implementation followed the same procedures as for the quasi-experimental study however the participants were randomly assigned to treatment or no treatment. New measures were also added including a 7-item assertiveness scale, an 8-item attractiveness scale, a 9 item girls self-efficacy scale, a 20 item self-liking scale, and a 17-item hopelessness scale.

Results: In the quasi-experimental study, three of the five measures produced a significant Group X Time effect despite the low power involved due to small numbers. In the Randomized Experimental study five of the outcome measures post intervention were significant, and two measures would be significant if the criteria were lowered to the .10 level.

Conclusions/Implications: These efforts demonstrate program development, testing, and dissemination of a newly developed prevention program. The promising results from these studies has led to the current Randomized Experimental Study (n=400) taking place at various schools to ensure the “Go Grrrrls” Curriculum is effective in the eight measured areas. The results of the studies conducted thus far are promising and demonstrate the need for gender specific sexual health curricula implemented in a variety of settings. To continue dissemination of this promising curriculum, we have developed the “Go Grrrls Board Game” based off the “Girls Curriculum” to educate adolescent girls on these topics in an entertaining way.