Using self reports to measure program impact

Freya L. Sonenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In order to demonstrate success, pregnancy prevention programs must show that their participants have changed their behavior. Accurately measuring levels of sexual activity and contraceptive use are important to determining program efficacy. These measures can be reliably obtained, but careful attention must be given to what is measured and how. In this paper, based on our experience conducting the National Survey of Adolescent Males, we offer several guidelines for measuring program effects on behavior. Successful evaluations should accurately describe program participants, including who is being targeted, who has participated in other programs, and who has already engaged in the behaviors that the program is intended to prevent; measure program outcomes by program logic and goals; employ research protocols that ensure strict confidentiality and the effective administration of surveys; and double-check responses to see that they correlate with other available evidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-585
Number of pages19
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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