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February 2010

Research, Policy, and Adolescent Sexual Behavior

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: University of Washington and Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle (Dr Rivara); and Student Health and Wellness Center, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland (Dr Joffe).

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2010;164(2):200. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2009.288

The reason that investigators do research and that journals publish it is to test hypotheses and contribute new knowledge. Sometimes these hypotheses are supported; at other times, they are not. Good science is driven by facts and findings and strives to be objective.

Formulation of public policy is very different. Good public policy will rest on a solid knowledge base, but the knowledge base must be broad enough to encompass the many factors and facets that bear on a policy issue. It also includes political will and social strategy, the “means by which we apply our knowledge and political will to improve or initiate programs.”1(p388)

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