NDSU faculty members have received a $1.2 million three-year competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families.
The grant is for implementing a Personal Responsibility Education Program under the Affordable Care Act that focuses on preventing teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Starting in January 2013, the program will target youth ages 14-19 in the Fargo area.
Brandy Randall, associate professor of human development and family science, and Molly Secor-Turner, assistant professor of nursing, are co-principal investigators of the grant, which will be facilitated through a partnership with Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota.
Called “Reach One Teach One: North Dakota,” the program will include youth at greatest risk for unplanned pregnancies, including homeless and runaway teens, teens in foster care or the juvenile justice system and teens aging out of foster care.
According to the most recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey, about 45 percent of North Dakota youth attending school are sexually active and 13 percent have had more than four partners. “While pregnancy rates among teens in North Dakota are lower than the national average, our state’s most vulnerable teens are experiencing disproportionately high rates of early pregnancy and childbirth,” Secor-Turner said.
The program will include strong, clear messages about abstinence and medically accurate information about reproductive health. It also will cover life skills, such as developing healthy relationships and communicating effectively. Because teens are more likely to discuss sexuality with their peers, it also will include a peer education element.
The program is funded by the Administration on Children, Youth and Families’ Family and Youth Service Bureau under award No. 90AK0012.
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation’s top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.