Impacts of the Heritage Keepers® Life Skills Education Component

Publisher: Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research
Aug 30, 2007
Melissa A. Clark, Christopher Trenholm, Barbara Devaney, Justin Wheeler, and Lisa Quay
This report addresses one particular model for school-based abstinence education: a voluntary, character-based program designed to enhance a mandatory core abstinence education component of the Heritage Keepers® program serving middle and high school youth in Edgefield, South Carolina. Findings indicate that the Life Skills Component had little or no impact on sexual abstinence or activity on youth already receiving the core abstinence education curriculum. However, youth in the Life Skills group were also no more likely than their counterparts in the control group to have engaged in unprotected sex. The component did affect certain potential mediators of teen sex, most notably expectations to abstain and views supportive of abstinence. It also had some impact on knowledge of the risks associated with teen sex.