Title

Can I get Pregnant in a Hot Tub? Texting for Sexual Health

Location

Sloane

Strand #1

Mental & Physical Health

Strand #2

Family & Community

Relevance

Teens need access to sexual health and asking parents or other trusted adults about this sensitive topic can sometimes be difficult for adolescents. Using one-on-one text messaging, adolescents can not only get medically-accurate, up-to-date information about sexual health, but they can also learn skills to have conversations about these topics they might otherwise avoid.

Brief Program Description

Text messages submitted by adolescents to health educators can provide insight into many variables related to sexual health including risk factors, types of questions asked, and other useful information (e.g., time of day/day of week when adolescents are texting). This information can not only guide individuals working directly in the field with adolescents, but can also help provide larger community strategies for addressing issues like sex, pregnancy, development, contraception, sexuality, and STD's/HIV.

Summary

Text messaging is an integral tool for adolescents. Over 75% of teens use text messaging on a regular basis. By embracing text messaging, organizations can augment existing teen pregnancy prevention and STI/STD reduction programs to connect with teens. These adolescents can then receive medically-accurate and up-to-date information about sexual health and related topics from certified health educators focusing on the specific needs of the community (e.g., Hispanic/Latino, LGBTQ, etc.)

Evidence

Text messaging is used by many organizations to reach out to adolescents regarding different domains related to their day-to-day life. Specifically, evidence from NC, SC, MD, IN, FL, TX, and NM suggest that one-on-one text messaging between adolescents and a 'live' health educator produces positives outcomes regarding sexual health and related topics. Since 2009 - data suggest that these one-to-one connections between adolescents and health educators produce 'conversations' that these adolescents would otherwise not have with a trusted adult or parent. Moreover, by establishing these one-to-one 'conversations' with health educators via text, adolescents are receiving factual information that they might otherwise seek out from peers or from the internet that may contain false or inaccurate information.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Kennon Jackson, Jr. has over 18 years of experience working in outcome-focused program management – specifically in areas of child- and family-health services. Kennon has had both personal and professional opportunities to serve youth with several umbrella-style non-profits at the state level – like APPCNC. These experiences have given him the opportunity to provide training and technical assistance in evaluation capacity building, strategic planning, and program management for many non-profit agencies and other professionals in this area during his career. Kennon also has substantial work experience with federal entities as well – serving as a Project Coordinator and an Evaluation Officer for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA] and the United States Department of State, respectively. Kennon had the pleasure to work with some of the country’s leading experts in adolescent health while employed at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health - Center for Adolescent Health. Kennon earned his B.S. in Biology from Davidson College and an M.A. in Public Policy from the Duke University Graduate School.

Keyword Descriptors

adolescents, sexual health, text messaging, public health, social media

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-4-2015 11:15 AM

End Date

3-4-2015 12:30 PM

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Mar 4th, 11:15 AM Mar 4th, 12:30 PM

Can I get Pregnant in a Hot Tub? Texting for Sexual Health

Sloane

Text messages submitted by adolescents to health educators can provide insight into many variables related to sexual health including risk factors, types of questions asked, and other useful information (e.g., time of day/day of week when adolescents are texting). This information can not only guide individuals working directly in the field with adolescents, but can also help provide larger community strategies for addressing issues like sex, pregnancy, development, contraception, sexuality, and STD's/HIV.