Journal of Community Health

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 293–304 | Cite as

Abstinence Education for Urban Youth

  • Linda Carter-Jessop
  • Lisa N. Franklin
  • James W. HeathJr.
  • Gladys Jimenez-Irizarry
  • Michael D. Peace


Teen sexual problems in the U.S. are reaching enormous proportions. Attempts to prevent common problems, pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, are underway through the persistent efforts of community, health, academic and government organizations. Abstinence education is one of the current attempts. However, the lack of well defined theoretical frameworks and analyses of outcomes have limited progress in the study of abstinence education. This article describes a pilot program in abstinence-only education provided to six groups of young teens within an urban middle school. The framework for the program, cognitive social learning theory, is described and operationalized. Student pretest-posttest attitudes, open-ended written comments about the program and the researchers' anecdotes about behavioral changes in the students are the outcome measures. Positive attitudes about premarital abstinence increased for all six groups; for four of the six groups the increase was statistically significant.

abstinence education teen pregnancy urban youth 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda Carter-Jessop
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lisa N. Franklin
    • 3
  • James W. HeathJr.
    • 4
  • Gladys Jimenez-Irizarry
    • 5
  • Michael D. Peace
    • 4
  1. 1.School of NursingUniversity of RochesterRochester
  2. 2.Chapel Guidance CenterRochester
  3. 3.REAL Abstinence ProgramRochester
  4. 4.Bethel ChurchRochester
  5. 5.Rochester City School DistrictRochester

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