Philliber, A.E., Philliber, S., Brown, S. (2016). Evaluation of the Teen Outreach Program® in The Pacific Northwest. Accord, NY: Philliber Research Evaluation.

Program Name
Teen Outreach Program (TOP)
Show Evidence of Effectiveness
Study Rating and Explanation
HighRandom assignment study that met all criteria for a high rating; findings show a mix of positive and adverse impacts on behavioral outcomes

Program Information

Program Type
Positive youth development
Program Length
Fewer than 10 sessions

Evaluation Setting

Evaluation Setting
Multiple settings

Study Sample

Average Age Group
14 to 17
Majority Racial/Ethnic Group
Youth of any gender

Research Design

Assignment Method
Cluster randomized controlled trial
Sample Size
Number of Follow-Ups
Length of Last Follow-Up
Year of Last Data Collection

Study Findings

Result Sexual Activity
Indeterminate evidence
Result Contraceptive
Indeterminate evidence
Result Pregnancy
Conflicting evidence
Reviewed Studies
High-Quality Randomized Trial
Protocol Version
Version 5.0
This study evaluated the program using a cluster randomized controlled trial that involved 8,662 adolescents attending schools in five northwestern states (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington). Students were clustered into groups, and the types of groups included school classes, in-school clubs, pull-out, and after-school clubs. Randomization into treatment (receiving TOP) and control (not receiving TOP) conditions was done at the level of those groups of students. The study administered surveys before conducting random assignment (baseline), and again immediately and 12 months after the end of the program.

The study found evidence of mixed program effects. Immediately after the program ended, the study found a positive program impact: the subgroup of male adolescents in the schools that implemented TOP were less likely to report ever causing a pregnancy than their counterparts in schools that did not implement the program (odds ratio = 0.71). For the same time period, the study found evidence of an adverse effect: the subgroup of female adolescents in the treatment schools were more likely than those in the control schools to report having ever been pregnant (odds ratio = 1.27). The study found no significant impacts on pregnancy for the full sample immediately and 12 months after the program ended (odds ratio = 1.13 immediately after the program, odds ratio = 1.15 12 months after the program).

Immediately after the program ended, the study also examined program impacts on recent sexual activity and on having sexual intercourse without using an effective method of birth control in the last three months. The study found no statistically significant program impacts on those outcomes.
Effect Sizes
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NA = Not available. This means the authors did not report the information in the manuscripts associated with the studies we reviewed.

a This information was not available whenever authors did not report information for the treatment and comparison groups separately on outcome means, standard deviations, and/or sample sizes.

b Authors reported that the program effect (impact) estimate is statistically significant with a p-value of less than 0.05 based on a two-tailed test.

c For some outcomes, having less of that outcome is favorable. In those cases, an effect with a negative sign is favorable to the treatment group (that is, the treatment group had a more favorable outcome than the comparison group, on average).

d An effect shows credibly estimated, statistically significant evidence whenever it has a p-value of less than 0.05 based on a two-tailed test, includes the appropriate adjustment for clustering (if applicable), and it is not based on an endogenous subgroup.