Evaluating the Will Power/Won't Power Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Program for Girls Ages 12 to 14

Field of Work: Preventing teenage pregnancies.

Problem Synopsis: According to the CDC, about 20 percent of sexually active high school girls become pregnant each year.

Synopsis of the Work: From 1999 to 2007, Girls Incorporated® (Girls Inc.) and Mathematica Policy Research (under a subcontract) designed and conducted an evaluation of Will Power/Won't Power®, a pregnancy prevention program for girls ages 12 to 14. Moreover, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are becoming a greater problem among teenage girls.

Key Findings

  • Girls who participated in Will Power/Won't Power reported greater exposure through class or programs to topics in reproduction/pregnancy and saying no to sex, sexually transmitted infections and menstruation. Girls in the program group were more knowledgeable about risk and prevention of sexually transmitted infections. There was no difference in other factors such as attitudes towards teenage sex or view of self.
  • Girls with school-reported higher grades in reading classes were significantly less likely to initiate sex compared with girls who had lower grades.
  • The better the relationship a girl said she had with her mother, the less likely it was that she engaged in sexual activity.