Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 171–180 | Cite as

Infant Simulator Lifespace Intervention: Pilot Investigation of an Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program

  • William Strachan
  • Kevin M. Gorey


This quasi-experimental study of 48 high school students clearly demonstrates the impact of a very realistic infant simulator on adolescents' attitudes and beliefs about what their future parenting experiences might be like. After their experience of the three-day lifespace intervention, the teenagers who participated had much more realistic notions about the responsibilities and demands involved in childrearing. Nearly all of them (90%) scored higher on a measure of realistic parenting expectations than the average adolescent in a comparison group did. Also of practical significance was the finding that the intervention even seemed to positively impact classmates of the primary intervention group, adolescents who merely observed others tending to ‘infants.’


Comparison Group Social Psychology Prevention Program High School Student Primary Intervention 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Allen-Meares, P. (1991). Educating adolescents on the dangers of premature childbearing and drug use: A focus on prevention. Child and Adolescent Social Work, 8, 327–338.Google Scholar
  2. Butler, A. C. (1993). The causes of declining economic well-being among women who had children as teenagers (Discussion paper no. 1000-93). University of Wisconsin-Madison: Institute for Research on Poverty.Google Scholar
  3. Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  4. Combs-Orme, T. (1993). Health effects of adolescent pregnancy: Implications for social workers. Families in Society, 74, 344–354.Google Scholar
  5. Dryfoos, J. G. (1990). Adolescents at risk: Prevalence and prevention. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Gordon, D. E. (1990). Formal operational thinking: The role of cognitive-developmental processes in adolescent decision-making about pregnancy and contraception. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 60, 346–356.Google Scholar
  7. Hofferth, S. L. (1991). Programs for high risk adolescents: What works? Evaluation and Program Planning, 14, 3–16.Google Scholar
  8. Holden, G. W., Nelson, P. B., Velasquez, J., & Richie, K. L. (1993). Cognitive, psychosocial, and reported sexual behavioral differences between pregnant and nonpregnant adolescents. Adolescence, 28, 557–572.Google Scholar
  9. James, D. (1986). Alternative methodologies in teaching: Simulation of parenting with an egg. Australian Social Work, 39, 3–8.Google Scholar
  10. Miller, B. C., & Paikoff, R. L. (1992). Comparing adolescent pregnancy prevention programs: Methods and results. In B. C. Miller, J. J. Card, R. L. Paikoff, & J. L. Peterson (Eds.), Preventing adolescent pregnancy: Model programs and evaluations (pp. 265–284). Newbury Park: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  11. Plotnick, R. D. (1992). The effects of attitudes on teenage premarital pregnancy and its resolution. American Sociological Review, 57, 800–811.Google Scholar
  12. Smith, C. (1996). The link between childhood maltreatment and teenage pregnancy. Social Work Research, 20, 131–141.Google Scholar
  13. White, C. P., & White, M. B. (1991). The adolescent family life act: Content, findings, and policy recommendations for pregnancy prevention programs. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 20, 58–70.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Strachan
    • 1
  • Kevin M. Gorey
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Social WorkState University of New York at BuffaloBuffalo
  2. 2.School of Social WorkUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada

Personalised recommendations