ASSISTING IN REHABILITATING KIDS (ARK)
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ASSISTING IN REHABILITATING KIDS (ARK)

  • 10/03/2016

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    Assisting in Rehabilitating Kids (ARK) is a small group, 12-session intervention consisting of educational, behavioral skills training, and motivational risk -sensitization manipulation components designed to reduce and maintain reductions of risky sexual behaviors among substance-dependent adolescents. The intervention is delivered to groups of 6-10 mixedgender youth over a period of 28 days after their initial detoxification while the youth are still in the drug treatment program facility. The first 2 intervention sessions provide standard HIV/STD information. Five sessions addressing behavioral skills are based on the Becoming a Responsible Teen (BART) intervention and provide specific training and practice regarding correct condom use, partner negotiation, refusal of unwanted sex, and communicating this information and newly acquired skills to peers. Four other sessions are used to teach problem-solving skills and anger management skills important for drugdependent adolescents. One additional session focuses on the motivational aspects of behavior change, particularly the level of perceived risk, by introducing an emotion -based risk-sensitization manipulation. A digital photograph of each adolescent is taken at baseline, downloaded into a computer, electronically transformed to visually depict how the adolescent might appear at end-stage AIDS. After adolescents complete their skills training sessions, the original and digitally transformed images are given to each adolescent. Next, discussion focuses on adolescents’ emotional responses to the images, how these images may affect their willingness to engage in risky or safer sexual behaviors, and emphasize s that the adolescents already have the necessary skills to avoid HIV/STDs. This risk - sensitization manipulation is designed to increase awareness of personal vulnerability and, along with their improved self-efficacy, to motivate youth to adopt and be able to maintain risk reduction behaviors.
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