Research

It’s Your Game-Tech increases teens’ knowledge about STIs, condoms


By Hannah Rhodes | April 29, 2015

It’s Your Game (IYG)-Tech, an online-based sexual health education course, promotes more positive attitudes about abstinence, according to researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health. The study was published in the latest issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

It’s Your Game…Keep it Real (IYG) is a classroom and computer-based program for middle school youth. The evidence-based curriculum was developed to prevent teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. IYG emphasizes abstinence but also teaches students how to protect themselves from pregnancy and STIs using medically accurate information. IYG-Tech is a version of IYG that exclusively exists online.

“The whole idea for this came about because people were interested in the computer portions of the original IYG program. An online version could save funding because teachers would not need to be trained and it could provide another option for students who cannot access IYG through the classroom,” said Melissa Peskin, Ph.D., lead author and assistant professor in the Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at UTHealth School of Public Health.

IYG-Tech was administered to 1,374 eighth-grade students in the Houston area. In the baseline survey, almost 20 percent of students reported engaging in any type of sex. While study results showed that there was no significant change in initiation of sex a year after receiving IYG-Tech, students who received the program were more knowledgeable about STIs and condoms. The students also had more positive attitudes about abstinence, believed their friends had more positive attitudes about abstinence and were more likely to think their peers were not sexually active.

IYG-Tech covers the same topics that are covered in the original version and incorporates some of the classroom-based lessons, such as role playing. For example, there are “virtual role plays” in which a character in the program says a comment meant to pressure the student and the student must choose from several response options.

The program may not have affected sexual behavior change as much because only 14 percent of students completed all 13 lessons, according to Peskin.

Students who received all 13 lessons were 81 percent less likely to initiate sex than those who received four or fewer lessons. Even those who received at least five lessons were 58 percent less likely to initiate sex when compared to the group that had less exposure to IYG-Tech.

“There are some promising results here if the students actually get the full curriculum,” said Peskin. The next step for the researchers will be to conduct another trial where all students receive the full program.

Ross Shegog, Ph.D., was co-principal investigator for the study. Co-investigators the School of Public Health include Chris Markham, Ph.D.; Melanie Thiel, M.P.H.; Elizabeth Baumler, Ph.D.; Robert Addy, Ph.D.; Efrat Gabay, M.P.H., and Susan Tortolero Emery, Ph.D.




Social Posts

profile_image

Veterans Affairs

@DeptVetAffairs

Today's #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran Dwright Fowler Davis, who is an advocate and entrepreneur. He served from 1998 to 2002: https://t.co/6tIlvbnFwb

17 mins ago
profile_image

UTHealth

@UTHealth

RT @bryanacotton1: Congratulations to our incoming #BigT #NoSONOS Trauma/SCC fellows to the Red Duke Trauma Institute @UTHealthACS @UTHealt…

37 mins ago
profile_image

UTHealth

@UTHealth

RT @UTHealth_SBMI: Grahame Grieve Named 2019 Glaser Award Recipient speaks about: "How we are at an exciting time in medicine, such as: Sci…

37 mins ago
profile_image

UTHealth

@UTHealth

RT @UTHealth_SBMI: Our special guests, faculty members and students join Dr. Susan Fenton as she speaks about some special informatics cour…

38 mins ago
profile_image

Texas Children's

@TexasChildrens

.@TexasChildrens Specialty Care Upper Kirby offers orthopedic care on Saturday mornings! The clinic will be open from 8 a.m. to noon to treat routine and urgent cases. Learn more: https://t.co/6J2vIai2Xb https://t.co/OKtasyK6oX

44 mins ago
profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

RT @BCMHouston_News: #Harvey didn't just cause devastating flooding for #Houston, a new study lead by @bcmhouston's Dr. Kjersti Aagaard fou…

45 mins ago
profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

Dr. Michelle Ludwig tackles the issue of the attrition of women in medicine in the latest @BCMEthics PolicyWise post. https://t.co/5uIg3M25oV #WomenInMedicine #ethics

47 mins ago
profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

RT @TCHResearchNews: .@LabShulman @TexasChildrens, @bcmhouston @bcm_neurosci weighs in on new evidence that points to a problem in waste cl…

52 mins ago
profile_image

MD Anderson Cancer Center

@MDAndersonNews

“By women getting #mammograms from ages 40 to 74, they’re less likely to die from #breastcancer,” says our Dr. Therese Bevers: https://t.co/BNYEHFOitr @Forbes #endcancer

56 mins ago
profile_image

Harris Health System

@harrishealth

Today, October 18, is #NationalMammographyDay, remember to get screened! https://t.co/DVCYXYvD19

57 mins ago
profile_image

TexasHeartInstitute

@Texas_Heart

Get smart with Project Heart, a fun, heart healthy resource for K-6 teachers and students that includes elementary lesson plans, teacher worksheets and educational games. https://t.co/t1nosOoERw

1 hour ago
profile_image

University of Houston

@UHouston

RT @UHoustonLib: Go, 'Stros! #TakeItBackFrom the archives: this commemorative certificate was given out at the Astros vs. Yankees exhibi…

2 hours ago
profile_image

University of Houston

@UHouston

Rollin' into #CougarREDFriday with my red shirt and @astros hat like...#TakeItBack https://t.co/c0xtjyNg0w

2 hours ago
profile_image

MD Anderson Cancer Center

@MDAndersonNews

@nowell_erica Sending good vibes your way, Erica.

2 hours ago
profile_image

Veterans Affairs

@DeptVetAffairs

VA Office of Rural Health expands research efforts https://t.co/Halm4BugRr via #VAntagePoint

2 hours ago