A process evaluation of a relationship strengthening HIV prevention intervention: The Partners in LIFE Curriculum Amongst Adolescent Parents in New Haven, Connecticut

Document Type


Summary Description

The research paper evaluates the Partners in LIFE (PiL) curriculum, a relationship-strengthening HIV prevention intervention among adolescent parents in New Haven, Connecticut. The study, conducted from 2012 to 2014 with 49 couples, assessed the program's completeness, fidelity, utilization, and participant reactions. Results indicated high levels of implementation success and positive participant engagement, though challenges such as low attendance and disruptions from children were noted, highlighting the need for improved facilitator preparation and consistent childcare support during sessions.


Background: In impoverished urban areas in the Northeast, the prevalence of HIV among heterosexuals is more than 28 times greater than the prevalence in the general U.S. heterosexual population.1,70 In the United States, America’s youth (ages 15–24) account for half of all new STIs occurring among young men and women (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013).1 Numerous couple-based HIV studies have found that couple-based approaches are generally efficacious in promoting safer sex behaviors (El-Bassel et al., 2010).4 This project aims to examine the implementation (Campbell et al., 2000)1 of the Partners in LIFE curriculum to identify successes and limitations of the intervention in order to inform future health promotion interventions and evaluations (Nguyen et al., 2013).2 Methods: This paper examines a couple based interventions, Partners in LIFE (PiL), a randomized control trial of 49 couples (n=98) in New Haven, Connecticut from 2012–2014. The intervention was evaluated based on the level of completeness of activity implementation, fidelity of implementation, utilization of program activities and staff and participant reaction. Results: The process evaluation suggests that the PiL curriculum was implemented with a high degree of completeness, fidelity and utilization that translated to positive reactions from participants, facilitators and observers. Factors that enabled participant engagement include interacting with facilitators, interacting with other couples and logistical factors such as transportation and food. Conclusion: The intervention appeared successful in allowing participants to interact with other couples. Improvements include ensuring that facilitators are well prepared with the material before the session and ensuring that disruptive children are not present during the session. Limitations include the use of self-reported data being subject to bias and low attendance making it difficult to effectively assess completeness, fidelity and utilization. This intervention highlighted the need for process evaluations to determine the modality and dose at which to implement these interventions.

Supporting Teacher/Faculty Member

Dr. Trace Kershaw

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