Big Decisions Evaluation Project

Healthy Futures of Texas (HFTX) is thrilled to have been awarded this 5-year research grant awarded by the Office of Adolescent Health (OAH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Big Decisions has been used by many school districts and community agencies in Texas and beyond. Now, with this OAH Teen Pregnancy Prevention grant, HFTX is able to evaluate the effectiveness of Big Decisions in helping young people to make healthy decisions about sex and relationships.

This randomized controlled trial is being conducted in three Texas border/rural school districts:

  • Eagle Pass Independent School District
  • San Felipe Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District
  • Carrizo Springs Consolidated Independent School District.

HFTX is honored to work with these school districts, as well as with our partners, Philliber Research and Evaluation and Cardea Services.

Ninth grade classes receive either Big Decisions or a control program, and students complete confidential surveys before and after the program—and again 12 months after the program.  Students participate in the study only with parent/guardian consent.

The parents/guardians of the students in Big Decisions classes are offered the companion parent program, Key Conversations.

Big Decisions was developed by Dr. Janet Realini, founder of HFTX.  The curriculum has 10 active-learning lessons:

  1. RULES OF THE GAME: Forming a Respectful Group
  2. GOALS AND DREAMS: My Future
  3. RELATIONSHIPS AND ROMANCE: What is Healthy?
  4. ANATOMY AND REPRODUCTION: How it Works
  5. ABSTINENCE: Decisions to Wait
  6. A CLEAR “NO”: My Limits
  7. CONTRACEPTION: Pregnancy at a Good Time for You
  8. SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS, Including HIV/AIDS
  9. STAYING HEALTHY AND ON TRACK: Defending My Limits
  10. OVERCOMING CHALLENGES: Big Decisions

The study project period began on July 1, 2015 and will be completed by June 30, 2020.