Background- Due to the lack of interventions on sexual and reproductive health for older teen males of color engagement with the target population is critical for intervention development. Be Legendary (BL) was developed using intervention mapping, design thinking strategies and participatory methods alongside African-American male high school students. BL is a culturally responsive, school-based teen pregnancy prevention intervention for older teen males that combines sex education with youth development to improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes and build socio-emotional and leadership skills areas. Methods -To develop BL, we engaged 13 male high school students ages 16-19 in weekly workshop sessions over a six month period. Students participated in design thinking strategies to refine BL program goals, activities and recruitment/retention strategies. We also worked with an advisory group of school-based and community-based stakeholders who provide services to African-American male teens. Results- Through the use of participatory research methods and design thinking strategies we (1) developed and refined intervention activities, (2) developed intervention scope and sequence, (3) refined behavioral outcomes, and (4) gained further insight on intervention messaging, facilitator approach, and intervention delivery. Conclusion/Implications- Working alongside males to develop BL helped to broaden our scope and transform BL into a comprehensive, multi-component intervention reflective of the target population’s desires, needs and motivations.

Key Take Away Points

  • There are known interventions effective for improving sexual health outcomes for older male African-American teens who are disproportionate risk
  • Interventions must incorporate theory-based methods and culturally relevant approaches
  • Be Legendary was developed using intervention mapping and participatory research
  • Be Legendary, a theory-based, culturally responsive intervention is a promising approach for African-American older male teens