Innovative Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs
- In July 2015, Texas A&M University (Texas A&M) was awarded a grant from the HHS Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) program.
- Texas A&M’s Innovative Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs (iTP3) project helps develop cutting-edge ideas that have the potential to transform the future of teen pregnancy prevention.
- Texas A&M provides capacity-building assistance focused on design thinking, systems thinking, and dissemination, as well as infrastructure and evaluation services to assist Innovators—those selected to further develop their programs through the iTP3 project.
In July 2015, the HHS Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) awarded 84 Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) program grants. Texas A&M runs the Innovative Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs (iTP3) project, which aims to promote and support the development of innovative programs for adolescents that are currently underserved by existing evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs. Texas A&M does this by serving as an incubator for a small number of Innovators and their promising approaches that need further refinement to become ready for rigorous evaluation.
“The program just made us click together as all one. It’s like if you have one pencil by itself, it’s easy to break. If you have three or four pencils together it is going to be harder to break because the body is stronger; it’s easier to do something or achieve something in life.”
- Anton, CA, Be Legendary program participant
About Texas A&M's iTP3 Project
The iTP3 project at Texas A&M University is designed to develop innovative strategies for reducing adolescent pregnancy in traditionally underserved populations—from youth living in rural communities to youth in foster care and boys living in economically disadvantaged areas. Texas A&M held two nationwide contests in search of teams with innovative ideas in need of further refinement. iTP3 provides a unique opportunity to build the next generation of evidence-based programs because Innovators co-develop interventions with the target populations using human-centered design and systems thinking. In addition, Texas A&M is helping Innovators to go beyond traditional teen pregnancy prevention education formats by also addressing the social determinants of health—by looking at the broader context of how and why teen pregnancies occur and exploring how policy, systems, and environments can be modified to support youth.
The overall iTP3 goals are to:
- Build Innovator capacity related to systems thinking, design thinking, and dissemination
- Evaluate the process for developing an innovative teen pregnancy prevention program
- Disseminate information about innovative TPP programs
Through iTP3, Texas A&M has worked with 17 different Innovator teams to make sure that what youth need to engage in healthier behaviors is incorporated into the programs delivered to them. Innovators aim to address existing disparities and program gaps in teen pregnancy prevention and adolescent sexual health, including age, race, ethnicity, geography, rurality, and vulnerable populations such as youth in foster care and LGBT youth. iTP3 supports programs at different stages of development, ranging from new innovative ideas to programs preparing for rigorous evaluation.
Below are two examples of the 17 innovations under development:
- Transitioning to Success seeks to help transition-age youth in foster care by training front line staff who work directly with these youth to make pregnancy planning a routine part of case and transition planning.
- Rural ImPACT aims to reduce teen pregnancy and health disparities through a locally developed, culturally- and regionally-appropriate youth curriculum. It includes increasing parent-child communication and engaging parents in the youth’s sexuality education through meaningful and trust-building ways.
Why It Matters
OAH’s funding for iTP3 is an investment in further reducing the rates of teen pregnancy. Texas A&M’s iTP3 project ensures that:
- The current menu of evidence-based programs continues to expand. Investing in innovation helps respond to the evolving needs and interests of our nation’s youth. Innovator teams go beyond the traditional classroom setting, exploring strategies to affect change across multiple intervention levels and implementation settings. iTP3 establishes a portfolio of promising programs for underserved populations, including youth in foster care and young African-American men.
- Programs are developed in collaboration with the target populations. Including youth in the needs-assessment activities and the overall design of projects—through a process known as human-centered design—ensures projects resonate with the target populations. Target populations include a diverse group of youth (e.g. native youth, homeless and runaway youth, pregnant and parenting youth, young African-American males, LGB youth, and youth in foster care).
- The wider community has access to public health resources. Written materials covering a range of topics from design thinking and trauma-informed care to incorporating health equity and male engagement are freely available to the public on the iTP3 website (https://itp3.org/). All iTP3 webinars are open to the public and recordings are available on the website.
Innovative Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs (iTP3) Project by the Numbers
- Nationwide competitions for two cohorts of funding
- Over 100 applications received in total
- Seventeen Innovators, ranging from children’s hospitals to a county health department, chosen to develop their programs
About the Office of Adolescent Health TPP Program
The OAH Teen Pregnancy Prevention program is a national, evidence-based program that funds diverse organizations working to prevent teen pregnancy across the United States. OAH invests in the implementation of programs identified as evidence-based by the HHS Teen Pregnancy Prevention Evidence Review and provides funding to develop and evaluate new and innovative approaches to prevent teen pregnancy.