Montana Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP)
Teen Pregnancy in Montana
Teens who engage in some types of risky behavior are more likely to engage in other behaviors that increase the risk for teenage pregnancy.1 Comprehensive sex education and curricula in school and community settings have been shown to reduce teen pregnancy and associated risky behaviors.2 It is important for Montana teens to receive non-biased education considering that:
- 44% of Montana high school students have had sex at least once in their lifetime.3
- 32.3% of Montana high school students are sexually active.3
- As of 2015, the Montana teen birth rate was 25.3 births per 1,000 teen girls (age 15-19). Since 1991, the teen birth rate has declined by 46%4
- Between 2014 and 2015, the overall teen birth rate decreased 8% (from 24.2 per 1,000 to 22.3 per 1,000) and has fallen by 64% since peaking in 1991.5
- Prevention of teen pregnancy requires broad-based efforts including evidence-based sexual health education, support for parents in talking with their children about pregnancy prevention and other aspects of sexual and reproductive health, and ready access to effective and affordable contraception for teens who are sexually active.6
What is Montana PREP?
DPHHS supports the efforts of 6 local agencies across Montana to implement Montana’s Personal Responsibility Education Program (MT PREP). MT PREP is federally funded through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 to educate youth on abstinence and contraception, and other adult preparation topics. The goal of MT PREP is to prevent teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections and to help Montana teens go on to lead healthy, productive lives. Montana chose three evidenced based teen pregnancy prevention curriculum from the 28 approved evidenced based curricula. Local agencies accomplish this by providing middle and high school students with the following evidenced-based curricula proven to teach refusal skills and change risk-taking behavior:
Draw the Line/Respect the Line
The Draw the Line/Respect the Line curriculum helps students develop personal sexual limits and practice the skills needed to maintain those limits when challenged. Healthy sexual limits will keep youth safer from HIV, other STIs and unplanned pregnancy. This 19-lesson curriculum is designed to be used either by a classroom teacher or trained family life educator in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades.
- In Grade 6, the emphasis is on situations in which youth may be pressured to steal, use alcohol or smoke. The 5 lessons feature limit setting and refusal skills in a nonsexual context.
- In Grade 7, pressures regarding sexual intercourse are considered. The 7 lessons feature short-term consequences of unplanned sex, information about sexually transmitted disease, and applying refusal skills in a party context.
- In Grade 8, the 7 lessons feature an HIV-positive speaker as well as practicing refusal skills in dating contexts.
Reducing the Risk
This curriculum is designed for high school students and takes an active approach to prevention of teenage pregnancy and protection against HIV and other STIs that motivates students to change their high-risk behaviors. Throughout 16 well-defined lessons, Reducing the Risk emphasizes teaching refusals, delaying tactics and alternative actions youth can use to abstain or use protection.
Making Proud Choices
This curriculum is designed for middle or high school students that provides young adolescents with the knowledge, confidence, and skills necessary to reduce their risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), HIV, and pregnancy by abstaining from sex or using condoms if they choose to have sex. It is based on cognitive behavioral theories, focus groups, and the researchers' extensive experience working with youth.
Preparing Youth for Adulthood
In addition to educating youth on both abstinence and contraception, PREP prepares Montana’s youth to be successful adults by focusing on the following special topics:
- Healthy Relationships
- Adolescent Development
- Healthy Life Skills
MT PREP Accomplishments
- 2,191 Montana youth served in FY17 (July 1, 2016– June 30, 2017)
- Current areas served: Flathead, Deer Lodge, Silver Bow, Jefferson, Beaverhead counties, and the Northern Cheyenne Reservation
- MT PREP implemented across a variety of sites:
- 7 Elementary Schools
- 15 Middle and High schools
- 2 Alternative schools for at-risk youth
- 1 Juvenile justice programs
- 1 Career Development Center
1 ETR Associates and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. A Matrix of Risk and Protective Factors Affecting Teen Sexual Behavior, Pregnancy, Childbearing and Sexually Transmitted Disease, November 2007.
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TEEN PREGNANCY: Improving the lives of Young People and Strengthening Communities by Reducing Teen Pregnancy. At A Glance 2011.
3 2015 Montana Youth Risk Behavior Survey, High School Results, MT Office of Public Instruction, p.55
42015 Montana Vital Statistics, Office of Epidemiology and Scientific Support.
5 Hamilton, B.E., Martin, J.A., & Osterman, M.J.K. (2016). Births: Preliminary Data for 2015. National Vital Statistics Reports, 65(3), 1-15. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr65/nvsr65_03.pdf
6 CDC. Reducing Teen Pregnancy in the United States. Public Health Grand Rounds March 19, 2013. http://www.cdc.gov/cdcgrandrounds/archives/2013/march2013.htm
Health Education Specialist
Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services
Women's and Men's Health Section
1400 E Broadway A116
Helena MT 59620