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Youth Development Behavioral Interventions Coordinated with Sports or Club Participation to Reduce Sexual Risk Behaviors in Adolescents

Youth development behavioral interventions employ a holistic approach to adolescent health and wellness, and may or may not include components that are focused directly on pregnancy and STI prevention. These interventions emphasize:

  • Social, emotional, or cognitive competence training that promotes pro-social norms
  • Improved decision making
  • Self-determination
  • Positive bonding experiences between youth and their peers or non-parental role models

Sports or club components involve participation in academic, arts or athletic teams such as theater arts, homework club, basketball team, boys and girls club, etc. Such participation provides extended opportunities for adolescents to interact with adults in the community and have a sense of membership in a group with explicit rules and responsibilities.

Summary of Task Force Recommendations and Findings

The Community Preventive Services Task Force finds insufficient evidence to support youth development behavioral interventions coordinated with sports or club participation to reduce sexual risk behaviors among adolescents. Evidence is considered insufficient because there were too few studies of sufficient quality to draw a conclusion on the effectiveness of this combination of interventions.

All of the interventions evaluated in this review included sexual behavior or risk reduction content as part of the behavioral intervention, although the emphasis on this component varied. The Task Force acknowledges that this review, focused on the subset of intervention studies that evaluated change in sexual risk behavior outcomes, does not provide a complete, systematic assessment of all of the evidence regarding overall effectiveness of these combined approaches.

Results of the Systematic Reviews

  • The one study that qualified for the review reported a 41% reduction in self-reported pregnancy among program participants, but this effect could not be clearly attributed to youth development behavioral interventions with sports or club participation.

These results were based on a systematic review of all available studies, conducted on behalf of the Task Force by a team of specialists in systematic review methods, and in research, practice and policy related to adolescent sexual behavior and youth development.

Economic Evidence

An economic review of this intervention was not conducted because the Task Force did not have enough information to determine if the intervention works.

Supporting Materials

Publication Status

Full peer-reviewed articles of this systematic review will be posted on the Community Guide website when published. Subscribe External Web Site Icon to be notified when we post these publications or other materials. See our library for previous Community Guide publications on this and other topics.


The findings and conclusions on this page are those of the Community Preventive Services Task Force and do not necessarily represent those of CDC. Task Force evidence-based recommendations are not mandates for compliance or spending. Instead, they provide information and options for decision makers and stakeholders to consider when determining which programs, services, and policies best meet the needs, preferences, available resources, and constraints of their constituents.

Sample Citation

The content of publications of the Guide to Community Preventive Services is in the public domain. Guide to Community Preventive Services. Youth development behavioral interventions coordinated with sports or club participation to reduce sexual risk behaviors in adolescents. Last updated: MM/DD/YYYY.

Review completed: April 2008