Date of Award:

1-1-1996

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Glen Jenson

Abstract

adolescent sexual activity and subsequent pregnancy are ii an increasing dilemma facing American society . There appears to be an increase in the incidence of casual sexual activity among adolescents that leads to over 50% of students between grades 9 and 12 having been involved in sexual intercourse. This study examines changes in adolescent sexual attitudes, behaviors, and values in a select population over a 2-year time span. A survey of 548 families with adolescents was used to determine the impact of the Facts and Feelings home-based sexual abstinence program on mean scores for academic aspirations, academic achievement , sexual knowledge, the intention to have intercourse, sexual behavior, religiosity, mother approachability, father approachability, frequency of parental communication, sexual abstinence skills, friends' approval of premarital sex, value against sex prior to marriage, risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease, sex being acceptable in relationships, adolescent's values match parent's values, parents approve of premarital sex, and adolescent's rating of physical maturity. The sample was randomly split into equal size experimental and control groups . The treatment materials were given to the experimental group following a baseline measurement, and the control group received the materials after the study was completed 2 years later. Data were collected at four time intervals: pretest, 3-rnonth posttest, 1-year posttest, and 2-year posttest . Dependent variables were identified from previous research as possible antecedents to early sexual activity The youth studied were in the sixth and seventh grades, and were generally sexually abstinent throughout the study. Hypotheses were related to gender, group membership, and the i nteraction of these variables over time. A majority of the significant findings carne in the hypotheses regarding gender. There were limited findings in the hypothesis that dealt with group membership, group membership by gender, and the interaction effects of gender by group over time . Most of the treatment effects were time limited and not maintained for l ong periods of time following the treatment. There was evidence that the Facts and Feeling materials used in the study were beneficial in changing behavior, values, and attitudes regarding teenage abstinence for a short time immediately following the treatment period.

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