Cherrie Boyer, Ph.D., Mary-Ann Shafer, M.D., and Richard Shaffer, Ph.D.
Program Summary
FOCUS is an eight-hour cognitive-behavioral group intervention that promotes healthy behavior and responsible decision-making among young women. The program covers topics such as responsible behavior, relationships, pregnancy prevention, and STI prevention.
Intended Population
The suggested target population is youth who are at least 17 years old. It was evaluated with female United States Marine Corps recruits, ages 17 and older.
Program Setting

FOCUS was designed to be delivered in diverse program settings. It was evaluated in a classroom-based setting during the first 13-week period of Marine recruit training.

Contact and Availability Information
Sociometrics Corporation
1580 W. El Camino Real, Suite 8
Mountain View, CA 94040
Ph: 650-949-3282

See above

Sample of curriculum available for review prior to purchase
Adaptation guidelines or kit available
Languages available
Program Core Components
Category Component Core Component Component present Notes Lesson number(s) / activities where present
Content Graduating from high school No
Content Connections with trusted adults No
Content Other
Content Volunteering/civic engagement No
Content Spirituality No
Content Morals/values No Yes (evaluated version)
Content Identity development No
Content Social support/capital No
Content Social influence/actual vs. perceived social norms No Yes (evaluated version)
Content Social competence
Content Parenting skills No
Content Normative beliefs Yes Yes (evaluated version)
Content Leadership No
Content Gender roles Yes Yes (evaluated version)
Content Gender identity No
Content Cultural values No Yes (evaluated version)
Content Conflict resolution/social problem solving No
Content Communication skills Yes Yes (evaluated version)
Content Child development No
Content Boundary setting/refusal skills No Yes (evaluated version)
Content Substance use cessation No
Content Substance use - Other drugs No Yes (evaluated version)
Content Substance use - Alcohol Yes Yes (evaluated version)
Content Substance use - Abstinence Yes Yes (evaluated version)
Content Brain development and substance use No
Content Vocational/skills training No
Content Supplemental academic services No
Content School engagement No
Content College preparation No
Content Alternative schooling No
Content Self-regulation No
Content Self-esteem No
Content Self-efficacy/empowerment No Yes (evaluated version)
Content Resilience No
Content Personal vulnerability No
Content Reproduction No
Content STIs - Screening Yes Yes (evaluated version)
Content STIs - Prevention Yes Yes (evaluated version)
Content STIs - Information Yes Yes (evaluated version)
Content Sexual risk reduction Yes Yes (evaluated version)
Content Sexual risk avoidance No Yes (evaluated version)
Content Sexual orientation No
Content Sexual health Yes Yes (evaluated version)
Content Motivational interviewing No
Content Contraception - Other Yes Yes (evaluated version)
Content Sexual risk discontinuation No
Content Anatomy/physiology No Yes (evaluated version) Please note for all the content areas checked yes - the intervention's content included information on these topics as part of the whole intervention
Content Contraception - Condoms Yes Yes (evaluated version)
Content Contraception - Long-acting reversible contraceptives No Yes (evaluated version)
Content Maternal health No
Program Objectives
FOCUS seeks to prevent unintended pregnancy and STIs among young women, ages 17 and older. It is designed to change attitudes about sexual behavior, improve knowledge about pregnancy and STIs, and build communications skills including contraceptive use and refusal skills.
Program Content

The core content includes four 2-hour sessions. The sessions are broken into modules, which can be delivered separately.

  • Session 1: Increase knowledge about unintended pregnancies and STDs including HIV/AIDS. Goal: Modify values, beliefs, and attitudes that impact sexual behavior.
  • Session 2: Increase knowledge about hormonal and barrier contraceptives. Goal: Build communication skills to prevent risky sexual behaviors and increase condom use.
  • Session 3: Increase knowledge about the signs, symptoms, and consequences of STDs/HIV/AIDS. Goals: Increase knowledge about the transmission and prevention of STDs/HIV; Build communication skills to prevent STDs/HIV.
  • Session 4: Modify attitudes about the effects of alcohol and its relationship to sexual risk behaviors. Goals: Build refusal communication skills; Build condom use skills; Increase awareness about how life choices can impact decision-making and health.
Program Methods
The program is primarily delivered through lectures using PowerPoint slide presentations. Presentations are augmented by group discussions, interactive activities including a condom demonstration, role play, and videos.
Program Structure and Timeline

The eight-hour curriculum is designed to be delivered in four 2-hour sessions. Groups should be 20 to 25 participants.


FOCUS facilitators are preferably female health educators or facilitators comfortable with sexual health subject matter.

Program Materials and Resources
The following program materials are available through the distributor:
  • User's Guide
  • Program Manual
  • 1 Flash Drive Containing 11 Power Point Slide Sets
  • 1 copy of each of these 4 DVDs: (1) Birth Control: Understanding the Options, (2) My First Pelvic Exam, (3) In Our Own Words: Teens and AIDS, (4) Good to Go.
  • Video list
  • 50 copies of two brochures (STD Facts and Birth Control Facts)
  • Photocopy masters of all handouts
  • Fidelity toolkit
  • Original Evaluation Instruments booklet
  • Prevention Minimum Evaluation Data Set (PMEDS)
  • Local Evaluator Consultant Network Directory

While a free sample curriculum is not available, providers may purchase an automatic digital download of the user’s guide to review program components, core competencies for facilitators, and scientific evidence of effectiveness. If providers decide to purchase the program, the price of the download is deducted.

Additional Needs for Implementation

The program requires the use of a television and DVD player, a computer with PowerPoint capabilities, and a screen for showing PowerPoint presentations. Other materials needed for implementation include condoms, a penis proxy, and hard candies.

FOCUS has a fidelity toolkit/checklist and tools for monitoring program implementation. It may be accessed on the Sociometrics website:
Staff Training
There is no required training for this program. Providers interested in training should contact Sociometrics.
Technical Assistance and Ongoing Support
Sociometrics provides telephone technical support on implementation and evaluation for one year with purchase of the program materials.
Allowable Adaptations

There are three allowable adaptations, however, all adaptations must be approved by the developer and Sociometrics. Potential adaptations include: 

  • The program can be implemented in different settings, such as clinics, community-based organizations, or schools/colleges.
  • The program can be adapted for use with non-military women. This program cannot be adapted for men.
  • It may be possible to deliver the sessions in longer or shorter segments.
Reviewed Studies
Citation High-Quality Randomized Trial Moderate-Quality Randomized Trial Moderate-Quality Quasi-experiment Low Study Rating Did Not Meet Eligibility Criteria

Boyer et al. 2005

Study Characteristics
Citation Setting Majority Age Group Majority Racial/Ethnic Group Gender Sample Size
n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

Boyer et al. 2005

Specialized setting 18 or 19 White Young women 2157
Study Findings

Evidence by Outcome Domain and Study

Citation Sexual Activity Number of Sexual Partners Contraceptive Use STIs or HIV Pregnancy
n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

Boyer et al. 2005

n.a. Potentially favorable evidence Indeterminate evidence n.a. n.a.
Detailed Findings
Citation Details

Boyer et al. 2005

The program was evaluated in a cluster randomized controlled trial involving female Marine recruits who participated in the study during their first 13-week training period. Study participants were randomly assigned by platoon to either a treatment group that received the FOCUS intervention or a control group that received a health-promotion intervention on diet, physical activity, and cancer prevention. Surveys were administered immediately before the program (baseline) and at approximately one and eleven months after the program ended. Biological screening was conducted for pregnancy, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomonas.

The study found that 11 months after the program ended, participants in the intervention who were sexually inexperienced at baseline were significantly less likely to report having had multiple sexual partners since graduating from Marine recruit training. The study found no statistically significant program impacts on the number of sexual partners for participants who were sexually experienced at baseline, or on consistency of condom use for any group of study participants.

The study also examined program impacts on measures of sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies. Findings for these outcomes were not considered for this review because they did not meet the review evidence standards. Specifically, findings were reported only for certain subgroups of study participants, depending on where they were deployed after completing Marine recruit training. Those findings may be biased if deployment decisions were nonrandom.


Some study entries may include more than one citation because each citation examines a different follow-up period from the same study sample, or because each citation examines a different set of outcome measures on the same study sample. A blank cell indicates the study did not examine any outcome measures within the particular outcome domain or the findings for the outcome measures within that domain did not meet the review evidence standards.

Information on evidence of effectiveness is available only for studies that received a high or moderate rating. Read the description of the review process for more information on how these programs are identified.