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Predicting Youths’ Adherence to Treatment and Retention in Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Interventions


  • Elaine M. Walker

    () (Department of Education Leadership, Management & Policy, Seton Hall University, 400 South Orange Avenue, South Orange, NJ 07079, USA)


Internal and external validity are threatened when subjects fail to complete an intervention and when they are lost at follow-ups. Accordingly, researchers and intervention staff continually strive to identify predictors of attrition and non-compliance. The present study investigated the success of models that incorporate program, family, and individual characteristic variables in predicting treatment adherence and retention at six months in a sample of 1319 youth who participated in an abstinence-only intervention, as well as the relative importance of the predictors in explaining retention and adherence among Hispanic and non-Hispanic youth. The findings indicated that the likelihood of completing the intervention was greater for youths whose mothers or someone who functioned as a mother did not work. The effect of this predictor was consistent across all models in which it was tested. In addition, youth who planned to have sex were more likely to withdraw from the intervention than were youth for whom the opposite was true. Youth satisfaction with the intervention successfully predicted the likelihood of completion. Retention at six months was influenced by youth completing the intervention, having a non-working mother, and being satisfied with the program. Results from the discriminant analyses suggested that the predictors varied in importance for Hispanics and non-Hispanics. For Hispanics, having a non-working mother and satisfaction with the intervention were critical to their decisions to complete the intervention and to return for the six-month follow-up. For non-Hispanics, parental attitudes regarding sex, youths’ intentions to have sex, and youths’ gender were significant predictors.

Suggested Citation

  • Elaine M. Walker, 2016. "Predicting Youths’ Adherence to Treatment and Retention in Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Interventions," Societies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(2), pages 1-12, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsoctx:v:6:y:2016:i:2:p:9-:d:67234

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Debra Zand & Nicole Renick Thomson & Mary Dugan & James A. Braun & Pat Holterman-Hommes & Patricia L. Hunter, 2006. "Predictors of Retention in an Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Prevention Study," Evaluation Review, , vol. 30(2), pages 209-222, April.
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    More about this item


    attrition; pregnancy prevention interventions;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • P - Economic Systems
    • P0 - Economic Systems - - General
    • P1 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems
    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies
    • P3 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions
    • P4 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems
    • P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics


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