United States. Department of Health and Human Services, issuing body.
United States. Office of Adolescent Health, issuing body.
United States. Department of Health and Human Services. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, issuing body.
Abt Associates, issuing body.
Reducing rates of unplanned teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is a priority for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). To achieve this goal, the Department is investing in evidence-based pregnancy reduction strategies and targeting populations at highest risk for teen pregnancy. The federal Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program, administered by the Office of Adolescent Health (OAH), includes funding for programs that are intended to address high rates of teenage pregnancy by (1) replicating evidence-based models and (2) testing innovative strategies.The TPP Program was authorized in 2010 as part of the larger Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative and initially included $100 million in annual funding to support programming. Of these funds, $75 million were available annually to support five-year grants for replicating 28 program models that prior rigorous evaluations had shown to be effective. These program models were identified through a systematic, comprehensive review of the literature on prevention of teen pregnancy, STIs, and sexual risk behaviors (Kappeler & Farb, 2014). The TPP program acknowledges the limitations of existing research and the need for additional research on programs, citing lessons learned from a comprehensive evidence review such as an absence of independent evaluations and a limited number of program replications (Goesling et al., 2014). The review highlighted that the evidence for many of the 28 programs eligible for replication funding rested on single studies of effectiveness, often conducted a long time ago and with a single population. A program may work in one location with a particular population, but that does not necessarily mean it will be effective in another. Further, implementing a program model with fidelity often competes with the need to adapt to local conditions on the ground. For these reasons, a carefully designed study of multiple replications of selected program models is an important contribution to the existing research.
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