Condom Availability in Schools: A Follow-up Evaluation of Philadelphia's Health Resource Centers

Adena M. Galinsky, Johns Hopkins University
Frank Furstenberg, University of Pennsylvania

Adolescent birth rates have been declining for over a decade. School condom availability programs may have been a factor driving this decline. One such program began in 1991, when nine Philadelphia public schools began making condoms available to students. They did so by establishing in-school Health Resource Centers (HRCs), staffed by health care professionals who provide counseling, referrals, and condoms. This initiative was intended to reduce teenage pregnancy rates and curb the spread of STDs and HIV. Using data from the Philadelphia Educational Longitudinal Study, as well as matched birth records, we examine the STD, pregnancy, and birth rates of about 1500 Philadelphia public school students over the four years following their entry into 9th grade. Students at HRC schools were no less likely to have a pregnancy or contract an STD. However, the relationship between HRC school attendance and birth rates was more complex.

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Presented in Session 71: Adolescent Fertility