Presentation (Project) Title

Evaluation of a Sexuality Education and Healthy Relationship Program for Black/ African American Youth in South St. Petersburg

Mentor Information

Tiffany Chenneville (Department of Psychology)

Presentation Format

Event

Abstract

Evidence suggests Florida youth engage in high rates of sexual risk-taking (Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, 2015). Indeed, Florida has high rates of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, and teen pregnancy (Florida Department of Health, 2014). Black/African American youth are at an exceptionally high risk for adverse outcomes associated with sexual behavior given the impact of racism on health (Reif et al., 2014). Sexuality education programs targeting Black/African American youth are therefore needed. The Health Education and Relationship Training Services (HEARTS) program was designed to provide culturally appropriate sexuality education and healthy relationship training to Black/African American youth in south St. Petersburg. The HEARTS program utilizes the Love Notes curriculum, a comprehensive and evidence-based program designed to teach young adults how to build healthy relationships to prevent dating violence, reduce impulsive actions, and learn better sexual behaviors. 259 youth aged 12 to 19 (M=14.84, SD=1.415) were enrolled in the program over 12 months in collaboration with community organizations, including faith-based institutions in a predominantly Black neighborhood in south St. Petersburg, Florida. Findings revealed high levels of satisfaction among youth. On average, youth found the HEARTS program interesting (M=1.60, SD = .589) and rated the program as high quality (M=1.59, SD = .592). Both qualitative and quantitative data suggest parent and youth satisfaction with the program. Data also suggest the HEARTS program holds promise for increasing knowledge about healthy relationships and sexuality education among Black/African American youth.

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Evaluation of a Sexuality Education and Healthy Relationship Program for Black/ African American Youth in South St. Petersburg

Evidence suggests Florida youth engage in high rates of sexual risk-taking (Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, 2015). Indeed, Florida has high rates of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, and teen pregnancy (Florida Department of Health, 2014). Black/African American youth are at an exceptionally high risk for adverse outcomes associated with sexual behavior given the impact of racism on health (Reif et al., 2014). Sexuality education programs targeting Black/African American youth are therefore needed. The Health Education and Relationship Training Services (HEARTS) program was designed to provide culturally appropriate sexuality education and healthy relationship training to Black/African American youth in south St. Petersburg. The HEARTS program utilizes the Love Notes curriculum, a comprehensive and evidence-based program designed to teach young adults how to build healthy relationships to prevent dating violence, reduce impulsive actions, and learn better sexual behaviors. 259 youth aged 12 to 19 (M=14.84, SD=1.415) were enrolled in the program over 12 months in collaboration with community organizations, including faith-based institutions in a predominantly Black neighborhood in south St. Petersburg, Florida. Findings revealed high levels of satisfaction among youth. On average, youth found the HEARTS program interesting (M=1.60, SD = .589) and rated the program as high quality (M=1.59, SD = .592). Both qualitative and quantitative data suggest parent and youth satisfaction with the program. Data also suggest the HEARTS program holds promise for increasing knowledge about healthy relationships and sexuality education among Black/African American youth.