REDUCING THE RISK PLUS (RTR+)
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REDUCING THE RISK PLUS (RTR+)

  • 09/06/2016

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  • Description:
    RTR+ is an adapted version of Reducing the Risk (RTR), a group-level intervention for adolescents that focuses on emphasizing abstinence as well as prophylactic measures (e.g., using condoms) to reduce risk. RTR+ shares all the content of RTR, including training on decision making and improving communication skills, but also emphasizes framing typical sexual decisions in ways that promote risk avoidance according to research on fuzzy -trace theory. A theory of memory and decision making, the cent ral concept of fuzzy trace is the distinction between two kinds of mental representations of information: gist (“bottom -line meaning”) and verbatim (“literal facts”). The theory posits that adolescents take more risks than adults because they make decisions based on analysis of verbatim facts (i.e. the relatively low per-event risk of unprotected sex). Through educational activities in RTR+, information on risk is presented per event as well as the cumulative risk of repeated risky behavior, to help adolescents understand the “essence or bottom line” of the lessons (e.g., that some outcomes are essentially “certain” with repeated risk taking). The intervention encourages storage in memory of relevant values/beliefs and facilitates the ability to retrieve those values/beliefs at the time a decision is made.
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