Objectives: A theory-based curriculum designed to delay the onset of intercourse and increase use of condoms was implemented in the classrooms of six Los Angeles middle schools.
Methods: The curriculum activities were very interactive, emphasized skill building, and were implemented by well trained peer educators, including young HIV-positive males and teen mothers. To evaluate the impact of the curriculum, 102 classrooms of students were randomly assigned to receive either the existing curriculum or the existing curriculum plus the intervention curriculum. Students completed confidential questionnaires before program implementation, five months later, and 17 months later. A total of 1,657 students completed both the baseline and 17-month follow-up questionnaires.
Results: Analyses of these data revealed that the curriculum significantly increased knowledge, significantly improved only two out of 21 attitudes or beliefs, and did not significantly change sexual or contraceptive behaviors.
Conclusions: Well implemented programs that are based on upon theory, use interactive activities, and utilize well-trained peer educators do not always change important sexual attitudes and behaviors among middle school youth.