Year of Publication

2016

College

Public Health

Degree Name

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

Committee Chair

Corrine Williams, ScD, MS

Committee Member

Linda Alexander, EdD

Committee Member

Ramona Stone, PhD, MPH

Abstract

Teen pregnancies and births are at an all-time low across the United States. Despite this decline in rates within the last decade, the teen pregnancy rate in Kentucky remains significantly higher than that of the overall United States. Additionally, teen pregnancy still has significant economic and health impacts on both teen parents and their children. In rural communities, such as Wolfe County, KY, teen birth rates are approximately one-third higher than the rest of the country. Self Center is an evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention program that involves school-linked reproductive health services and provides participants with education, counseling, and healthcare services. The original program was found to be effective at increasing student knowledge, clinic attendance, and contraceptive use and decreased teen pregnancy by 30% in the intervention group related to the comparison. In order to reduce teen pregnancy rates in Wolfe County, the Self Center program will be taught to students in grades 7 to 12 at Wolfe County Middle School and Wolfe County High School. School-linked healthcare services will be provided through the Wolfe County Health Department. A team made up of a nurse practitioner and social worker will be assigned to the middle school and another will work at the high school to provide education and the included clinic services. Overall, the program seeks to increase knowledge, change behaviors, increase access to healthcare, and decrease the teen pregnancy rate in Wolfe County.

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