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Healthy Respect Media Release

Healthy Respect Presents Findings at National Conference

VIENNA, VA Dec 11, 2008 -- At a conference for the nation's top abstinence programs this week, the Healthy Respect Character Education Program reported on its success among high-needs, urban students and gain some valuable insights and information from abstinence until marriage experts.

Sponsored by the Office of Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (OAPP), the Virginia conference brings together 66 demonstration grant recipients that were selected for their outstanding evaluation standards and results.

Healthy Respect presented its findings from the first year of its five-year federal grant, which is designed to highlight the most effective methods of teaching abstinence until marriage to teens.

"We are very pleased to take part in this conference to present the results from our first year of the OAPP grant," said Healthy Respect's Executive Director Dr. Nanci Coppola. "This is part of a process of identifying best practices and improving the ones that work so that abstinence until marriage programs nationwide can benefit along with the teens they work with."

Also taking part in the conference is social scientist Dr. Robin Rogers, a member of Healthy Respect's evaluation team from Queens College.

Among the findings they will report are that students who participated in the Healthy Respect Character Education Program are:

- More likely to talk to their parents about sexual behavior and other issues;

- More likely to perceive their peer group as favorable to abstinence until marriage;

- More likely to perceive teen sex as a barrier to completing one's education;

- More likely to report that remaining abstinent until marriage is very important to them personally.

Healthy Respect will also suggest ways to improve its evaluation process to make the program more effective.

"The whole idea is for abstinence until marriage programs to work together for the benefit of the children," said Dr. Coppola. "Healthy Respect is proud to be a part of this process."