Testing a Risky Sex Behavior Intervention Pilot Website for Adolescents
Background and Purpose: Each year, teenagers account for about one-fifth of all unintended pregnancies in the United States. As such, delivering sexual risk reduction educational materials to teens in a timely fashion is of critical importance. Web-based delivery of these materials shows promise for reaching and persuading teens away from risky sexual and substance abuse behaviors. The purpose of this study was to pilot test a web-based program aimed at reducing risky sexual behavior and related outcomes among adolescents in a high school setting. Methods: A beta-test of the website was conducted in three public schools in New Mexico, USA with 173 students in 9th and 10th grades recruited from existing health education classes. Participants spent approximately three hours over a period of two days completing the online program in school computer labs. Results: Pretest to posttest results indicated that self-efficacy for condom use and condom use intentions, two theoretical mediators of changes in condom use behavior, were significantly changed. Adolescents also reported high satisfaction with the website content. Conclusion: BReady4it provided an innovative sex and substance abuse education to teenagers that revealed promising positive changes in cognitive constructs that are inversely related to risky sexual behavior among users.