Impact of the Choosing the Best Program in Communities Committed to Abstinence Education

Lisa Lieberman, Haiyan Su


States vary in standards for sex education, some requiring an emphasis on abstinence. Schools seek to identify curricula that reflect local community values and meet state standards. Choosing the Best (CTB), a classroom-based abstinence education curriculum, has been implemented in 75 Georgia school districts since 1995. CTB Inc., sought to determine if this popular program had an impact on abstinence attitudes, intentions, and behavior. Six Georgia public schools (1,143 ninth graders) participated in the study in 2009-2010. Four randomly assigned schools received the CTB curriculum, taught by trained CTB staff. Two control schools received their usual textbook-based abstinence lessons. Surveys were conducted at the beginning and end of 9th grade, and the beginning of 10th grade. Data demonstrated significant impact of CTB at the end of 9th grade on commitment to abstinence, proabstinence beliefs and attitudes, intentions to maintain abstinence, and lower onset of sexual intercourse, and at the beginning of 10th grade on proabstinence attitudes. In two communities that sought an abstinence education approach, CTB had a short-term impact on abstinence attitudes, commitment, and behaviors, and a longer term impact on abstinence attitudes only.

  • schools
  • education
  • social sciences
  • abstinence education
  • state standards
  • sexual activity
  • abstinence commitment
  • onset of sexual intercourse

Article Notes

  • Lisa Lieberman, Ph.D., CHES, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences at Montclair State University (NJ). She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in Health Behavior and Health Education (1986) and has conducted evaluations of a range of approaches to teen pregnancy and STI prevention.

  • Haiyan Su, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Montclair State University (NJ). She received her Ph.D in Statistics from University of Rochester Medical (2009) and her biostatistical research focuses on environmental statistics, public health and medicine.

  • The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

  • The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article: Funding for this study was provided by the Administration for Children Families and Youth (ACFY), the Family and Youth Services Bureau, Grant No. 90AE0273/01.

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