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Illinois Federation

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Daily News

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Abstinence Education: A Selection of Research


Adolescent Depression/Suicide Risk with Sexual Activity

Based on their analysis of data from Wave I of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (1994-1995), the authors of this study concluded that, compared to youth who abstained from risk behaviors, young people who drank, smoked, and/or engaged in sexual activity had significantly increased odds of depression, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts.


Adolescent Depression and Suicide Risk: Association With Sex and Drug Behaviors. Authors: D. Hallfors et al. In American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Vol. 27, No. 3 (October 2004): pp. 224Ė230. Available for a fee from Elsevier, Inc.


Abstinence Education

Researchers examined the impact of a school-based abstinence education program on the initiation of sexual intercourse by virgin adolescents. They also sought to determine the programís impact on adolescent social cognitive factors linked to adolescent sexual initiation. The researchers concluded that the program achieved its goal of reducing the rate at which adolescents initiated sexual intercourse. Adolescent virgins who participated in the program were approximately one-half as likely as non-participants to initiate sexual activity after one year (P<.05).


An Abstinence Programís Impact on Cognitive Mediators and Sexual Initiation. Authors: S. Weed et al. In American Journal of Health Behavior, Vol. 32, No. 1 (January/February 2008): pp. 60-73. Available free from Teen-Aid Inc.


This paper discusses 21 studies of abstinence education. Fifteen studies examined abstinence programs that were intended primarily to teach abstinence. Of these 15 studies, 11 reported positive findings. The other six studies analyzed virginity pledges, and of these six studies, five reported positive findings. Overall, 16 of the 21 studies reported statistically significant positive results, such as delayed sexual initiation and reduced levels of early sexual activity, among youths who have received abstinence education. Five studies did not report any significant positive results.


Kim, C., Rector, R. (2008). Abstinence Education: Assessing the Evidence. The Heritage Foundation, (N)2126.


Parent-Child Communications

Researchers found that parent-child homework activities designed to increase communications and reinforce standard school-based pregnancy, HIV, and STD prevention curricula can enhance prevention effects among children. In all significant comparisons, the direction of the findings favored adolescents who received the enhanced abstinence curriculum. Results presented in this article were quite positive and support the potential for parent-child homework interventions to have an additive effect on school-based prevention curricula.


Effects of a Parent-Child Communications Intervention on Young Adolescents' Risk for Early Onset of Sexual Intercourse. Authors: S. Blake et al. In Family Planning Perspectives, Vol. 33, No. 2 (March-April 2001): pp. 52-61. Available from the Guttmacher Institute.


Cause of Decline In Teen Pregnancy Rates

Researchers analyzed data from the National Vital Statistics Records, the National Survey of Family Growth, and the Alan Guttmacher Institute. The study shows that the decline in the proportion of sexually active adolescents ages 15 to 19 accounts for 67 percent of the decline in pregnancy among that age range between 1991 and 1995.


An Analysis of the Causes of the Decline in Non-Marital Birth and Pregnancy Rates for Teens From 1991 to 1995. Authors: J. Mohn, L.Tingle, and R. Finger. In Adolescent & Family Health, Vol. 3, No. 1 (March 2003): pp. 39-47. Available for a fee from the Institute for Youth Development.


Virginity at Age 18 and Long-term Positive Effects

The authors analyzed data from interviews with 3,750 men and 3,620  women, conducted for the National Longitudinal Study of Youth (1979 to 2000). They found that women who were virgins at age 18 were, by middle adulthood (between ages 36 and 43), more likely than their peers to be debt-free and less likely to have used welfare benefits or to have experienced health problems. Both men and women who were virgins at age 18 attained more education than their peers and were half as likely to become divorced by middle adulthood. These findings held true when the authors controlled for ethnicity and measures of previous educational or economic disadvantage.


Association of Virginity at Age 18 With Educational, Economic, Social, and Health Outcomes in Middle Adulthood. Authors: R. Finger et al. In Adolescent & Family Health, Vol. 3, No. 4 (April 2005): pp. 164-170. Available for a fee from the Institute for Youth Development.


Contact: Linda Klepacki

Source: CitizenLink

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Publish Date: September 29, 2008

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The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection for the disabled and the elderly.†† Click here to learn more about the IFRL.