Year of Publication



Public Health

Date Available


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Dr. Aaron Kruse-Diehr

Committee Member

Dr. Mark Swanson

Committee Member

Dr. Beth Hunter


Adolescents in the United States are vulnerable to negative sexual health outcomes such as unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) due to a high prevalence of risky sexual behaviors in this population. Research demonstrates that providing adolescents with comprehensive sexuality education that addresses sexual health knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors can increase protective behaviors, such as condom use and decrease negative health outcomes over the long term. Implementing a comprehensive sexuality education program in a public school setting is an effective strategy to reach a large number of adolescents and targeting early adolescents can influence student sexual health knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors before most students initiate sexual activity. Therefore, we plan to implement a school-based comprehensive sexuality education program in all 7th grade health classrooms in the Fayette County, Kentucky public school system. The University of Kentucky Department of Adolescent Medicine will partner with the Fayette County Public School System to build their capacity to deliver the HealthSmart middle school curriculum “HIV, STI, & Pregnancy Prevention”, an evidence-based comprehensive health education program. Community stakeholders including local school administrators, teachers, parents, adolescents, and community organizations that serve adolescents will assist in planning and monitoring the program through an Adolescent Health Advisory Board. We will evaluate clinical outcomes of the program using a pretest/posttest design to identify changes in students’ sexual health knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. We will also evaluate implementation outcomes including program fidelity, reach, dose delivered, dose received, and barriers & facilitators to implementation to identify key successes and to continuously improve the program.

Included in

Public Health Commons