We plan to conduct a randomized controlled trial of an intervention consisting of watching 16 and Pregnant once a week for 4 weeks. Participants will be randomized to either the intervention arm, which will watch an approximately 45-minute episode of the show once a week for 4 weeks, or the control arm, which will not be intentionally exposed to the show. Each group will complete the same pre- and post-test surveys to allow for comparisons between the groups. All participants will be female teens between the ages of 15 and 18. Teens will be excluded if their parents do not permit them to participate, if they do not assent to participate, or if they report having watched more than one episode of 16 and Pregnant previously. We plan to recruit approximately 215 teens to get a sample of 150 participants. The survey instrument is based on two surveys – The Thoughs on Teen Parenting Survey, developed by Dr. Judith Herrman, and The National Survey of Reproductive and Contraceptive Knowledge, developed by The Guttmacher Institute and The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. All surveys will be internet-based and will be administered by Knowledge Networks, a company that specializes in online survey research. The survey will contain questions about participants’ attitudes about teen pregnancy and teen parenting. Contraceptive knowledge and attitudes towards contraception will be assessed as well. Participants in the intervention group will complete a brief survey after watching each episode, to assess if they actually watched the episode.
Hypothesis: Teens who are exposed to themes of unintended teen pregnancy will have less favorable attitudes towards teen pregnancy and parenting when compared with similar teens not exposed to those themes.