It's Your Game-Tech: Toward Sexual Health in the Digital Age
Adolescent sexually transmitted infection (STI) and birth rates indicate a need for effective middle school HIV/STI, and pregnancy prevention curricula to delay, or mitigate consequences of, early sexual activity. Individual and organizational barriers to adoption, implementation, and maintenance, however, can hamper dissemination of evidence-based sexual health curricula, adversely impacting fidelity and reach. Internet-based approaches may help mitigate these barriers. This paper describes
... development and feasibility testing of It's Your Game (IYG)-Tech, a stand-alone 13-lesson Internet-based sexual health life-skills curriculum adapted from an existing effective sexual health curriculum-It's Your Game... Keep it Real (IYG). IYG-Tech development adaptation steps were to: 1) Select a suitable effective program and gather the original program materials; 2) Develop "proof of concept" lessons and test usability and impact; 3) Develop the program design document describing the core content, scope, and methods and strategies; and 4) produce the new program. Lab-and school-based tests with middle school students demonstrated high ratings on usability parameters and immediate impact on selected psychosocial factors related to sexual behavior-perceptions of friends' beliefs, reasons for not having sex, condom use self-efficacy, abstinence intentions, negotiating with others to protect personal rules, and improved knowledge about what constitutes healthy relationships (all p < .05). Youth rated IYG-Tech is favorably compared to other learning channels (>76.2% agreement) and rated the lessons as helpful in making healthy choices, selecting personal rules, detecting challenges to those rules, and protecting personal rules through negotiation and refusal skills (89.5% -100%). Further efficacy testing is indicated for IYG-Tech as a potential strategy to deliver effective HIV/STI, and pregnancy prevention to middle school youth.