An Ounce of Prevention: Addressing Health Issues of Adolescents and Young Adults

Ounce of prevention 

About An Ounce of Prevention

This curriculum resource focuses on preconception health concerns. It includes resources for classroom use, a variety of learning activities, assessments, visual aids and e-learning tools.The first edition, titled An Ounce of Prevention: Addressing Birth Defects Related to Folic Acid, Alcohol and Tobacco, was published in 2000 and revised in 2005. When the publicaton was revised and expanded in 2011, the title was changed to An Ounce of Prevention: Addressing Health Issues of Adolescents and Young Adults.

Editor's note
The following abstract describes a publication that is only available for purchase. A link to ordering information is on this page.

Target audience for curriculum

The number of students who report sexual activity increases significantly with age and each grade in school. Targeting ninth- and 10th-grade students provides an opportunity to impact the lifestyle of this age group. While the intended audience is ninth- and 10th-graders, content can be adapted to other grade levels, appropriate to the needs and situations of each teacher. Correlation is provided for all the Family and Consumer Sciences and health classes to which the concepts in this curriculum relate.

Another target audience consists of expectant mothers who participate in programs and services offered by state departments of health, regardless of their age or whether they are still in school.

Based on current, research-based information

An Ounce of Prevention was developed by:

  • Brenda Bell
    Human Development Specialist
    MU Extension
  • Lori Williamson Dean
    Genetic Counselor and Assistant Professor
    University of Arkansas for the Medical Sciences
  • Carrie L. Chou
    Certified Genetic Counselor
    Genzyme Genetics

Educationally correct

This curriculum meets Missouri's Show-Me Standards, National Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences, and Common Core State Standards.

Curriculum design and development

Development of An Ounce of Prevention was supported by funds from the March of Dimes Foundation, MU Hospitals and Clinics, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, and MU Extension, with collaboration from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Incorporates both the practical problem-solving approach and the scientific method

Each chapter includes:

  • The practical problem question
  • Key concepts
  • National Family and Consumer Standards and Common Core State Standards
  • Key terms
  • Objectives that identify the skills and knowledge students need to master each competency
  • Teacher background information that provides research, information and statistics
  • References for the material used in developing each module
  • Resources — websites, videos and printed materials. Printed materials are designed for students to use as they complete learning activities and assessments.
  • Learning activities that build on topics presented in the listed objectives. Any discussion questions or case studies included may be used as learning activities or assessments.
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Assessments to help students explore and discover knowledge
  • Supplemental materials — activity sheets, fact sheets, audiovisual aids and ordering information for resources

The following materials and resources are also included:

  • Pre- and posttests, which are more surveys than tests, to aid in evaluating the students' increase in knowledge
  • Chapter tests and a comprehensive test
  • Appendices
    • Activities and assessments that apply to multiple chapters
    • Publication ordering information
    • Websites for additional research
    • Recommended videos
    • Color photos of babies with birth defects
    • Frequently asked questions

"I have been using the materials in my class and they are great, the students love it and it is very user friendly."
-- Rhonda Galbraith, Central High School, Springfield, Mo.

"I'm sure this notebook will be one of the most used resources in my classroom. The information has already been used in Child Development and Health classes and as a resource for speeches and research papers in Senior English. The real-life pictures have been excellent teaching tools: they are worth a thousand words for the students."
-- Celia Dotson, Salisbury High School, Salisbury, Mo.


  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Birth defects
  • Chlamydia
  • Communication strategies
  • Condom use
  • Dating relationships
  • Dating violence
  • Environmental tobacco smoke
  • Family health history
  • Female condom
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
  • Folic acid
  • Genetic counseling
  • Gonorrhea
  • Healty relationships
  • Hepatitis A, B and C
  • Herpes
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Latex dam
  • Newborn screening
  • Passive smoking
  • Preconception planning
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Prenatal diagnosis
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Smoking, tobacco risks
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Syphilis
  • Thirdhand smoke
  • Trichomoniasis


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