A computer- and Internet-based intervention was designed to influence several variables related to the prevention of pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in rural adolescents. The intervention was guided by the extended parallel process model and was evaluated using a pretest-post-test control group design with random assignment at the school level. Three hundred and twenty-six tenth-grade males and females enrolled in two rural Appalachian public high schools completed the survey at both points in time. Results indicate the vast majority (88.5%) of students in the experimental school completed at least one activity (M = 3.46 for those doing at least one activity). Further, both the overall program and all but one of the activities were rated positively by participants. Regarding the effects of the intervention, results indicate that students in the experimental school were less likely to initiate sexual activity and had greater general knowledge, greater condom negotiation self-efficacy, more favorable attitudes toward waiting to have sex, and greater situational self-efficacy than in the control school. In tandem, the results suggest that the computer-based programs may be a cost-effective and easily replicable means of providing teens with basic information and skills necessary to prevent pregnancy, STDs, and HIV.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Library and Information Sciences