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JANET W. HAGEN
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Oshkosh, Wisconsin
ALICE H. SKENANDORE, BEVERLY M. SCOW,
JENNIFER G. SCHANEN, and FRIEDA HUGO CLARY
Wise Women Gathering Place, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Nationally, the United States has a higher rate of teen pregnancy than any other industrialized nation. Native American youth have a higher birth rate than the national rate. A full-year healthy relationship program, based on Native American teachings, traditions, and cultural norms, was delivered to all eighth-grade students at a rural tribal school and a new group of eighth graders every year for 5 years, to teach healthy relationships and encourage abstinence. This article summarizes the Discovery Dating curriculum and compares the participants in the healthy relationship program to the comparison group, at the end of 5 years, in regards of the number of pregnancies as well as self-reported sexual behavior. The comparison group comprises students in the same community who attended a public middle school, rather than the tribal middle school, but the same public high school. All students had a similar age, socioeconomic status, culture, and ethnicity. Students who received the healthy relationship program (treatment group) had fewer pregnancies than the students who did not receive the healthy relationship program (comparison group). Of those who reported that they were sexually active, the students who received the healthy relationship program (treatment group) reported higher condom use than the students who did not receive the healthy relationship program (comparison group).