Engaging Adolescent Males in Prevention

While research and data collection efforts have tended to focus on female adolescent parenthood, an estimated 8% of young men will become fathers before their 20th birthday.1 We know little about effective strategies and approaches for engaging males in preventing teen pregnancies, or even about young men's attitudes toward being a father. The behavior of adolescent males is central to preventing teenage pregnancy and childbearing.2 Researchers and programs are increasingly focused on the role of males in teen pregnancy and childrearing.3

Some experts note that programs focused on responsible sexual behavior should consider including information about how to build healthy romantic relationships overall.4 This includes teaching emotional and interpersonal skills and reducing gender stereotypes.2,4 Programs that teach youth to think through how a teen pregnancy might affect their long-term life goals are also effective interventions.5

Helping Young Men Make Healthy Choices

OPA’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) program work to prevent teen pregnancy and encourage healthy behaviors that young people can sustain into adulthood. The following TPP grantees have focused on adolescent males.

One picture of a father and teenage son sitting on the couch reading a paper, captioned Fathers Raising Responsible Men Participants. A picture of two men sitting in chairs, smiling and high-fiving, captioned PALMS-TPP Participants. One picture of a laughing man and younger boy, captioned Wise Guys Participants.

New York University

The Fathers Raising Responsible Men aims to reduce risky behavior through father-son communication about sex and sexual and reproductive health services. This program gives fathers with guidance on positive parenting topics such as relationship-building and supervision.

The Public Health Management Corporation

Promoting Awareness through Live Movement and Sound (PALMS-TPP) is a skills-building program for young black men. The program uses theater to spark conversation about the challenges young men face about sexual behavior and reproductive health decision-making.

Children’s Home Society of North Carolina

Wise Guys is a responsibility health education curriculum that helps young men redefine “manhood” and supports them in making positive sexual health decisions. Young men join a variety of activities including games, roleplaying, and small group projects.

Learn more about how TPP grantees are changing the lives of young people around the nation.


1 U.S. Census Bureau (2020). Stats for stories: Father’s day: June 21, 2020. https://www.census.gov/newsroom/stories/fathers-day.html back to top

2 Parekh, J., Johnson, M., & Manlove, J. (2018, May 15). Young men play an important role in pregnancy prevention. Child Trends. https://www.childtrends.org/young-men-play-an-important-role-in-pregnancy-prevention back to top

3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, January 25). Educating and engaging young men in reproductive health. https://www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/about/educating-engaging-young-men-reproductive-health.htm back to top

4 Barbee, A. P., Cunningham, M. R., van Zyl, M. A., Antle, B. F., & Langley, C. N. (2016). Impact of two adolescent pregnancy prevention interventions on risky sexual behavior: A three-arm cluster randomized control trial. American Journal of Public Health, 106(S1), S85–S90. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2016.303429 back to top

5 Child Trends. (n.d.). El camino. https://www.childtrends.org/project/el-camino back to top