A Tremendous Loss for Our Field

Douglas Kirby

It is with a heavy heart that Healthy Teen Network shares the news that our respected colleague, Douglas Kirby, PhD, passed away Saturday, December 22, 2012. He is survived by his wife, Gail, and his daughter, Katherine, and son, Cameron. A memorial service will be held for Doug on Saturday, January 5th, 2013, at 2:00pm PST at the La Selva Beach Community Church in La Selva, California. Donations in Doug’s honor can be made to Zambia Orphans of AIDS.

Doug was a Senior Research Scientist at ETR Associates in Scotts Valley, California, and an internationally renowned expert on adolescent sexuality and reproductive health and evidence-based programs. For more than 30 years, he directed studies of adolescent sexual behavior, sexuality and HIV education programs, school-based clinics, school condom-availability programs, and youth development programs. He co-authored research on the Reducing the RiskSafer Choices, and Draw the Line curricula, all of which significantly reduced unprotected sex, either by delaying sex, reducing the number of partners, increasing condom use, or increasing contraceptive use. He painted a more comprehensive and detailed picture of the risk and protective factors associated with adolescent sexual behavior, contraceptive use, and pregnancy, and identified important common characteristics of effective sexuality education and HIV education programs. He authored Emerging Answers 2007: Research Finding on Programs to Reduce Teen Pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, a widely acclaimed resource.  Over the years, he authored or co-authored more than 100 volumes, articles, and chapters on adolescent sexual behavior and programs designed to change that behavior.  These have included reviews of the field for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, and others.

It would be hard to overstate Doug’s tremendous contributions to our field. In 2004, Healthy Teen Network awarded Doug the Outstanding Contribution in Promoting Evidence-Based Practices Award in recognition for his application of research to program. No one has done more to make research accessible to programs than Doug Kirby. For more than three decades, Doug looked at the state of field and analyzed and discussed his findings in ways we could all use. Doug was dedicated to advancing the research base of our field, staying focused and determined to provide top quality research and evaluation. Doug’s work, his legacy, will continue to stand out in the field and guide how we best serve our youth.

Beyond Doug’s professional contributions, he was an incredible person and a joy to know. We are grateful for having had the opportunity to know him, and we will miss him.  Our hearts and thoughts are with his family and friends as they mourn his loss.

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  1. Remembering Doug Kirby | Under the Currents

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