Research Design

The DFY Take Charge! intervention was tested through an individual randomized control trial. Randomization occurred immediately after completion of the baseline survey. Participants were randomly assigned to either the intervention or the control group. A stratified random assignment design was used whereby youth within each program cohort were stratified by gender prior to random assignment.

Data collection occurred at baseline, post-test, and 3, 6, and 12 months after completion of the treatment intervention. Participants in both the treatment and control groups were brought together for data collection. Paper and pencil surveys were administered by evaluation staff from Philliber Research Associates. Participants who did not attend a scheduled data collection session were contacted by phone, email, text, and mail. They then completed the survey by phone.

The primary research question being studied was “What is the impact of Take Charge! relative to Healthy Living on contraceptive use during the past three months, one year after the end of the program?”

Three secondary research questions were also analyzed:

1. What is the impact of Take Charge! relative to Healthy Living on whether the individual has been pregnant or caused a pregnancy during the past twelve months?
2. What is the impact of Take Charge! relative to Healthy Living on contraceptive use one year after the end of the program? Are there differences by gender?
3. How does the impact of Take Charge! relative to Healthy Living on contraceptive use during the past three months differ by age (18 & 19 year olds versus younger youth) one year after the end of the program?

The intervention was researched with youth, between the ages of 12 and 19, from eight participating foster care agencies in New York City were eligible to participate. All youth obtained necessary consent forms prior to randomization and voluntarily enrolled in the program. The study enrolled 38 program cohorts with a total of 434 youth.