Ecological Analysis of Program Impact: a Site Analysis of Programs for Pregnant and Parenting Adolescents in Illinois

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Sage Publications


This study investigates the impact of multiple levels of program ecologies on program success within a state-wide network of services for pregnant and parenting adolescents in Illinois. Bronfenbrenner's ecological paradigm and the literature on program evaluation in the ecological tradition provide a conceptual framework. Results from path analysis suggest that the greater the amount of funding, the greater a program's success in preventing subsequent pregnancies and promoting self-sufficiency. However, providing more hours of service was associated with lower rates of success. Further, in keeping with the phenomenological tradition, interpretations were sought from site staff, who attributed this pattern to the complex, multiple needs of adolescent mothers. The paper discusses implications for setting realistic time-lines and defining long- and short-term outcomes.