Court-involved non-incarcerated (CINI) girls comprise 80% of juvenile justice involved girls and face high sexual health and substance use risk, coupled with significant barriers to care. Although a robust literature supports the efficacy of curriculum-based sexual health education interventions for reducing sexual health risk among marginalized girls, gender-specific interventions are needed and few studies have tested these interventions in justice-involved girls in community settings (i.e., CINI girls). Further, curriculum-based interventions that simultaneously address the interrelated high sexual and substance use risks of CINI girls are lacking. An additional gap is measurement of retention of knowledge and behavior change following intervention delivery. The proposed study addresses these limitations by adapting the evidence-based sexual health education intervention Making Proud Choices! (MPC) for CINI girls, including in group home and family home settings, and following the girls through 6 months post-intervention delivery. The intervention can be delivered remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic and offers the opportunity to intervene on girls’ trajectories at a crucial stage in their lives. This project will provide timely and rapid assessment for developing and pilot testing the intervention to support rigorous evaluation in the future. In this study, we will explore two aims. Through Aim 1, we will use a
stakeholder and youth partnership approach to adapt the MPC intervention. Key components of the adaptation include: i) tailoring the intervention to CINI girls, and ii) adding substance use psychoeducation training on affirmative consent. The second aim will be to pilot the adapted intervention with CINI girls. Through this pilot study, we will generate critical knowledge about the feasibility and acceptability of this innovative program while also laying the foundation for rigorous evaluation in the future.
PI: Elizabeth Barnert, M.D.