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  • Individual Author: Goesling, Brian; Wood, Robert G.; Covington, Reginald D.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Introduction

    This report presents evidence on the early impacts of the Wise Guys Male Responsibility Curriculum in middle schools in and near the city of Davenport, Iowa. In recent years, researchers and policymakers have increasingly recognized and prioritized the need to support young men in achieving positive educational and career outcomes and becoming responsible fathers. However, many of these efforts target young men only after they become fathers. The related issue of how to help adolescent males make responsible decisions about their sexual behavior and avoid early entry into fatherhood has received considerably less attention. Recognizing the need for research on programs designed to support adolescent males, the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funded a rigorous evaluation of Wise Guys in Davenport middle schools. The program was delivered by trained staff from a local nonprofit social service provider, Bethany for Children & Families, with federal grant funding to the Iowa...

    Introduction

    This report presents evidence on the early impacts of the Wise Guys Male Responsibility Curriculum in middle schools in and near the city of Davenport, Iowa. In recent years, researchers and policymakers have increasingly recognized and prioritized the need to support young men in achieving positive educational and career outcomes and becoming responsible fathers. However, many of these efforts target young men only after they become fathers. The related issue of how to help adolescent males make responsible decisions about their sexual behavior and avoid early entry into fatherhood has received considerably less attention. Recognizing the need for research on programs designed to support adolescent males, the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funded a rigorous evaluation of Wise Guys in Davenport middle schools. The program was delivered by trained staff from a local nonprofit social service provider, Bethany for Children & Families, with federal grant funding to the Iowa Department of Public Health from the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP).

    Purpose

    This report is the second in a series on the implementation and impacts of Wise Guys in Davenport middle schools. It presents evidence on the program’s early impacts after one year. It also documents the study methods. An earlier process study report described the design and implementation of the program. A future report will present evidence on the program’s longer-term impacts after two years. The report presents evidence on the early impacts of Wise Guys on boys’ exposure to information on healthy relationships and reproductive health topics; knowledge of contraception and sexually transmitted infections; attitudes toward relationships, sexual activity, and condom use; motivation to avoid getting someone pregnant; intentions to have sex; goal-setting abilities; and communication skills.

    Key Findings and Highlights

    • After one year, Wise Guys increased boys’ exposure to information on healthy relationships and reproductive health topics.
    • Wise Guys increased boys’ knowledge of contraception and sexually transmitted infections, and their level of agreement with statements about the importance of condom use among sexually active youth.
    • After one year, the program did not change boys’ motivation to avoid getting someone pregnant, intentions to have sex, relationship attitudes, goal-setting abilities, or communication skills.
    • Few boys in the study sample reported having ever had sexual intercourse, as was expected at the time of the one-year follow-up survey because of their young ages.

    Methods

    To test the effectiveness of Wise Guys in Davenport middle schools, the study team used a random assignment evaluation design. Boys assigned to the treatment group could attend the Wise Guys sessions during the regular school day as an elective supplement to the regular school curriculum. Boys assigned to the control group could not attend Wise Guys but continued to receive the sexuality and reproductive health education provided as part of the regular school curriculum. The study team enrolled and randomly assigned a total of 736 boys over three consecutive school years, from 2013–2014 to 2015–2016. Boys in both research groups completed a baseline survey upon enrolling in the study and follow-up surveys one and two years later. Data from the one-year follow-up survey are the focus of this report. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Hamadyk, Jill ; Zeidenberg, Matthew
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    This report documents the implementation and early impacts of the Workforce Training Academy Connect (WTA Connect) program, operated by Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) in Des Moines, Iowa. WTA Connect aimed to help low-income, low-skilled adults access and complete occupational training that can lead to increased employment and higher earnings. It is one of nine career pathways programs being evaluated under the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) study sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families.

    WTA Connect aimed to provide a pathway for low-skilled students to enroll in occupational certificate courses when their low levels of basic skills made them otherwise ineligible. It provided basic skills remediation (including enrollment in high school equivalency classes if needed), development of self-efficacy and goal-setting skills, and proactive advising. After completing the basic skills requirements, WTA Connect participants could enroll in occupational certificate courses in fields such as healthcare, advanced manufacturing, and...

    This report documents the implementation and early impacts of the Workforce Training Academy Connect (WTA Connect) program, operated by Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) in Des Moines, Iowa. WTA Connect aimed to help low-income, low-skilled adults access and complete occupational training that can lead to increased employment and higher earnings. It is one of nine career pathways programs being evaluated under the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) study sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families.

    WTA Connect aimed to provide a pathway for low-skilled students to enroll in occupational certificate courses when their low levels of basic skills made them otherwise ineligible. It provided basic skills remediation (including enrollment in high school equivalency classes if needed), development of self-efficacy and goal-setting skills, and proactive advising. After completing the basic skills requirements, WTA Connect participants could enroll in occupational certificate courses in fields such as healthcare, advanced manufacturing, and administrative support. The entire package of program components was provided free to participants.

    Using a rigorous research design, the study found that WTA Connect resulted in a modest increase in attainment of credentials by participants within the 18-month follow-up period, but no other educational or career impacts. Future reports will examine whether this credential effect translates into gains in employment and earnings. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Roman, Caterina G.; Link, Nathan W.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2017

    Recently released prisoners in the United States are increasingly facing the burden of financial debt associated with correctional supervision, yet little research has pursued how-theoretically or empirically-the burden of debt might affect life after prison. To address this gap, we employ life course and strain perspectives and path analysis to examine the impact of child support debt on employment and recidivism, using longitudinal data from an evaluation of a prisoner reentry program known as the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative. Results indicate that having more debt has no effect on recidivism; however, more debt was significantly associated with a decrease in later legitimate employment. Implications for community reintegration and justice processing are discussed within the framework of past and emerging work on legal financial obligations, employment, and desistance from crime after prison. (Author abstract)

    Recently released prisoners in the United States are increasingly facing the burden of financial debt associated with correctional supervision, yet little research has pursued how-theoretically or empirically-the burden of debt might affect life after prison. To address this gap, we employ life course and strain perspectives and path analysis to examine the impact of child support debt on employment and recidivism, using longitudinal data from an evaluation of a prisoner reentry program known as the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative. Results indicate that having more debt has no effect on recidivism; however, more debt was significantly associated with a decrease in later legitimate employment. Implications for community reintegration and justice processing are discussed within the framework of past and emerging work on legal financial obligations, employment, and desistance from crime after prison. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Kisker, Ellen; Murphy, Lauren; Wood, Robert G.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    This brief highlights key findings from the implementation of Wise Guys - a comprehensive sex education program designed specifically for males - in seven Davenport, IA area middle schools during the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years. (Author abstract)

    This brief highlights key findings from the implementation of Wise Guys - a comprehensive sex education program designed specifically for males - in seven Davenport, IA area middle schools during the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Dastrup, Samuel; Burnett, Kimberly; Buron, Larry
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    This document lays out a plan for the cost-benefit analyses (CBAs) that will be conducted for up to six of the nine Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) programs. The Career Pathways Intermediate Outcomes (CPIO) study is evaluating the intermediate impacts and outcomes of the PACE programs. The CBAs cover the three-year period after study enrollment.

    The CBAs planned in this document will accompany and extend the related “what works” impact analyses of the CPIO study. This document will guide the estimation of the costs of providing the PACE programs and our comparison of these costs with gains in employment and self-sufficiency measured in the impact analyses.

    Findings from the CBAs—how program costs compare with observed benefits—will help policymakers assess whether to encourage continuation or potentially expansion of each program’s approach as part of national policy. (Author abtract)

    This document lays out a plan for the cost-benefit analyses (CBAs) that will be conducted for up to six of the nine Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) programs. The Career Pathways Intermediate Outcomes (CPIO) study is evaluating the intermediate impacts and outcomes of the PACE programs. The CBAs cover the three-year period after study enrollment.

    The CBAs planned in this document will accompany and extend the related “what works” impact analyses of the CPIO study. This document will guide the estimation of the costs of providing the PACE programs and our comparison of these costs with gains in employment and self-sufficiency measured in the impact analyses.

    Findings from the CBAs—how program costs compare with observed benefits—will help policymakers assess whether to encourage continuation or potentially expansion of each program’s approach as part of national policy. (Author abtract)

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