Lisa A. Rue, PhD
Michael A. Floren, PhD
Kiley M. Floren, MPH
Galena K. Rhoades, PhD
Kayla Knopp, PhD
Elaine M. Walker, PhD
Jesse Owen, PhD
In this study, we isolated primary messaging strategies of sexuality education curricula to improve tailored delivery of group-based interventions. Specifically, our aim was to define single-message programs (eg, messaging about avoiding sexual risk or messaging about reducing sexual risk) and multiple-message programs (eg, avoiding sexual risk and reducing sexual risk), and to investigate their comparative effectiveness.
We used a descriptive approach with publicly available data from US Department of Health and Human Services-funded teen pregnancy prevention programs to categorize 16 different curricula as single-message or multiple-message. We coded primary messages using a curriculum mapping rubric and scoring that was evaluated by a panel of experts for content validity. Forest plots compared behavioral outcomes.
Scores for primary messages achieved inter-rater reliability of 91%-100%; curricula were scored on 20 items within each category to calculate mean scores. Spearman correlations for items ranged from .43 to .93.
No outcome differences were observed between single- or multi-message programs. Effective delivery of primary messaging may rely more on identifying moderators of classroom climate typically underrepresented in evaluations of school-based programs.