Systematic Review; Minority Health; Pregnancy in Adolescence; Health Status Disparities; Program Evaluation


Public Health


African American and Latino youth experience disproportionate rates of both intended and unintended pregnancy in the United States. A public health priority to ameliorate the high rates among this population has been the creation and proposed expansion of pregnancy prevention programs designed specifically for minority youth. However, little is known about the role of incorporating cultural components into program curricula. To better understand the components and outcomes of existing programs for this population, this systematic review analyzed published outcome evaluations of adolescent pregnancy prevention programs for minority youth. This review of literature published from January 2002 to June 2012 and retrieved from databases PsycInfo and PubMed abstracted results from 10 outcome evaluations, meeting all inclusion criteria. These publications were assessed for intervention characteristics including use of theory, setting, and culturally specific aspects. In addition, aspects of the evaluation including design, outcome variables, and measures were assessed. Nine of the ten evaluations found statistically significant results for a main pregnancy prevention variable (e.g., ever had sex, contraceptive use, or previous birth). The review also indicated areas for improvement in methodological quality, and consistency in cultural components, variables and measures. Implications of this research indicate a positive impact from adolescent pregnancy prevention programs for minority youth, and a need to expand standardized measures and program components as well as increase rigor in research methodology.

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