Washington Secrets

Feds: $100,000 to teach teen girls 'condom negotiation'

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

The administration is funding a $100,000 study of pregnant and "at-risk" 14-17-year-old girls on probation in Houston, Texas, to determine ways to help them choose safer lifestyles and avoid pregnancy, including better "condom negotiation" tactics.

The National Institutes of Health, part of the Health and Human Services Department, is providing a University of Houston researcher the money because of the lack of study of female teen juveniles in trouble with the law.

The school said the study, "Choices - Teen: A Bundled Risk Reduction Intervention for Juvenile Justice Females," will include 30 at-risk girls, ages 14-17, on intensive probation with the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department.

The goal, said the school, is to determine if intervention programs will help the kids make better life decisions.

According to Danielle Parish, the assistant professor at the school's Graduate College of Social Work who is conducting the NIH-funded effort, one of the big problems young girls need to learn is how to talk their boyfriends into using condoms.

According to the school's release, "Parrish notes one of the big issues for this population of adolescent girls is condom negotiation. They may have a boyfriend who says it isn't 'cool' to use a condom. To prepare the girls for these types of situations, the counselors and pediatricians will teach them how to negotiate condom use with their partner. The intervention also helps empower and motivate girls to make healthier choices regarding their alcohol use, smoking and prevention of unplanned pregnancy."

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