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School-based relationship and sexuality education intervention engaging adolescent boys for the reductions of teenage pregnancy: the JACK cluster RCT

Lohan, Maria, Gillespie, Kathryn, Aventin, Aine, Gough, Aisling, Warren, Emily, Lewis, Ruth, Buckley, Kelly, McShane, Theresa, Brennan-Wilson, Aoibheann, Lagdon, Susan, Adara, Linda, McDaid, Lisa, French, Rebecca, Young, Honor, McDowell, Cliona, Logan, Daniella, Toase, Sorcha, Hunter, Rachael M, Gabrio, Andrea, Clarke, Mike, O'Hare, Liam, Bonell, Chris, Bailey, Julia V. and White, Jamie ORCID: 2023. School-based relationship and sexuality education intervention engaging adolescent boys for the reductions of teenage pregnancy: the JACK cluster RCT. NIHR Journals Library 11 (8) 10.3310/YWXQ8757

[thumbnail of JACK Trial Final Report 14092021.pdf]
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Adolescent pregnancy is often thought to be an issue for young women alone, but it is important to engage young men to tackle the problem and find solutions. The If I Were Jack intervention was especially designed to engage with boys as well as girls aged 14 years and to promote positive masculinity and gender equality to prevent adolescent pregnancy and promote positive sexual health. It uses tailored interactive films and resources, made with the help of students and teachers, to make it relevant to each of the four UK nations. This relationship and sexuality education intervention encourages adolescents to avoid unprotected sex by delaying sexual activity until they feel ready and to use reliable contraception once sexually active. It also promotes knowledge, attitudes (such as beliefs about gender and masculinities), skills and intentions for safe and pleasurable relationships. In this trial, we compared students in 33 schools randomly allocated to deliver the intervention with students in 33 schools that continued with their usual relationship and sexuality education practices. Four schools withdrew, two because of COVID-19 school closures. This left a total of 6556 students who completed questionnaires at the start of the study and 12–14 months later. Responses from all these students showed that If I Were Jack had a positive impact on knowledge, attitudes and intentions required for safe and pleasurable relationships, but did not have a significant effect on overall avoidance of unprotected sex. This was because the intervention had no effect on delaying sexual activity. However, we found that the intervention was effective in increasing the use of reliable contraception as students became sexually active, as well as for those who already were sexually active prior to receiving the intervention. We also found that If I Were Jack was likely to provide value for money by reducing unintended pregnancies and improving sexual health.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Centre for Trials Research (CNTRR)
Publisher: NIHR
Funders: National Institute for Health Research Public Health Programme (NIHR PHR 15/181/01)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 29 September 2023
Date of Acceptance: 22 September 2023
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 15:16

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