Evaluation Results of the Newark, NJ Best Friends Best Men Adolescent Family Life Education Program, An Abstinence-Based Program to Enhance Preteen and Adolescent Health
Friends and Families United, Inc., May 2011
Kathleen Sternas, Ph.D., R.N.
College of Nursing
Mary Ann Scharf, Ed.D., R.N.
College of Nursing
RoseMarie Peterkin and Janet Summerly
Newark has high rates of teen pregnancy, STD’s/HIV/AIDS, smoking, drug and alcohol use among youth which affect their health. This presentation addresses evaluation of Newark, N.J. Best Friends/Best Men Adolescent Family Life (BF/BM AFL) youth development intervention program which aims to promote abstinence from drinking, drugs, smoking and sex and prevent pregnancy in 10 to 15 year olds. The intervention program, guided by Bandura’s social learning theory and Piaget’s cognitive development theory, provides youth with a 110 hour, seven component curriculums, implemented in schools, which focuses on group discussions, mentor meetings, dance/physical fitness classes, cultural events, community service, role models and a recognition ceremony. Activities provide support, positive peer pressure, counseling, health lessons and sexuality information. The literature suggests that multidimensional programs like the BF/BM AFL program which include education on delaying sex, avoiding risky behaviors and positive role models are likely to have positive outcomes for youth. This evaluation study investigates if there are statistically significant differences between BF/BM AFL program participants and those who do not receive this program on outcome variables measured by the AFL Core Evaluation Survey (i.e. avoidance of risky behaviors, effective relationships/ communication with parents/guardians, activities, self perceptions, sexuality/abstinence attitudes, intent to remain abstinent) and the Demographic Questionnaire (i.e. perception of a bright future).