A computer-based approach to preventing pregnancy, STD, and HIV in rural adolescents

Anthony J. Roberto, Rick S. Zimmerman, Kellie E. Carlyle, Erin L. Abner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


A computer- and Internet-based intervention was designed to influence several variables related to the prevention of pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in rural adolescents. The intervention was guided by the extended parallel process model and was evaluated using a pretest-post-test control group design with random assignment at the school level. Three hundred and twenty-six tenth-grade males and females enrolled in two rural Appalachian public high schools completed the survey at both points in time. Results indicate the vast majority (88.5%) of students in the experimental school completed at least one activity (M = 3.46 for those doing at least one activity). Further, both the overall program and all but one of the activities were rated positively by participants. Regarding the effects of the intervention, results indicate that students in the experimental school were less likely to initiate sexual activity and had greater general knowledge, greater condom negotiation self-efficacy, more favorable attitudes toward waiting to have sex, and greater situational self-efficacy than in the control school. In tandem, the results suggest that the computer-based programs may be a cost-effective and easily replicable means of providing teens with basic information and skills necessary to prevent pregnancy, STDs, and HIV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-76
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by National Institute of Mental Health grant R01 MH16876 awarded to the University of Kentucky, Rick S. Zimmerman, principal investigator.

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Library and Information Sciences


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