UTHealth School of Public Health to Lead Data Collection Effort Aimed at Reducing Teen Pregnancy

Peskin CLYC
Under the direction of Melissa Peskin, PhD, the UTHealth School of Public Health team hopes to understand the factors that are associated with reducing teen pregnancy among youth in conservatorship

Under the leadership of Associate Professor Melissa Peskin, PhD, UTHealth School of Public Health will begin a six-month-long data collection period to evaluate the needs and assets required to develop strategies to prevent pregnancy among youth in conservatorship in the Houston area. This data collection effort is the second half of a year-long planning phase to address this issue. Christine Markham, PhD, and Paula Cuccaro, PhD, are co-investigators on the project.

More than 7,400 youth are in conservatorship in Texas region six, and more than 1,800 youth are eligible for Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) programs. The data collected by Dr. Peskin and her team will be used to inform the development and implementation of strategies that will be created for these populations.

“We know that youth in conservatorship are at high risk for unintended pregnancy and other adverse outcomes,” said Dr. Peskin, “so our goal by the end of this planning year is to have a comprehensive logic model that can then inform best practice interventions for these young people.”

To collect these data, Dr. Peskin and her team will employ intervention mapping, which sources theory, empirical evidence and extensive input from community partners to inform the work.

Markham CLYC
At a recent CLYC community event, Christine Markham, PhD, had the opportunity to discuss the ways the state, county and city of Houston could help with the campaign's efforts

“We will be reviewing programs and literature used by youth and adults in this population and conducting a series of in-depth interviews with youth formerly in care and adults who work with youth in the foster care system,” said Dr. Peskin.

The team at UTHealth also plans to have an initial program designed that integrates components from data collected from youth and adult participants to be piloted and tested in the subsequent phase of the overall campaign.

UTHealth School of Public Health is one of several partners in the Collaborative for Youth in Care (CLYC), which is comprised of various organizations that educate, advocate and serve youth in Texas to ensure their wellbeing. CLYC is funded by the Houston Endowment through a sub-contract with The Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.