Years Funded: 2010-2015
Professor, Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health, University of Colorado, Aurora, CO
Circle of Life (COL) was a five year project funded by the Office of Adolescent Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The project adapted a classroom-based
sexual risk reduction curriculum, Circle of Life, to a multimedia format (mCOL) and tested its effectiveness in a group-randomized controlled trial with Native Boys and Girls Clubs (NBGC) in the Northern Plains.
The Intervention: mCOL uses the medicine wheel as a foundation for teaching culturally relevant information about prevention of HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and Hepatitis B & C. mCOL consists of 7 chapters delivered online and supplemental group activities that teach skills, decision making, and standing up to peer pressure.
Counterfactual intervention: After-School Science Plus
(AS+) was offered to youth in the control units. AS+ is an evidence-based science program designed for youth ages 8 to 14 years. Topics included bubble science, liquids and solids, and gravity. To match the mCOL condition, AS+ was shortened from 11 to 7 lessons.
The Study: The study was conducted in 15 NBGC sites which were randomized to deliver mCOL or AS+. One hundred and sixty seven youth enrolled in the project. Surveys were administered at baseline, after the intervention, and 9 months later.
mCOL is being reprogrammed to improve accessibility. To access the program, go to Minorityhealth.hhs.gov
and search for “Circle of Life.”