Many school health promotion curricula address a single health behavior, without paying attention to potential learning effects in associated behavioral domains. We developed an innovative curriculum about smoking and safe sex that also focused on promoting students' transfer of knowledge, skills and attitudes to other domains. In a quasi-experimental study involving 1107 students (Grades 7 and 8) in the Netherlands, the curriculum was compared with regular lessons about smoking and safe sex. The central research questions were to what extent the transfer-oriented curriculum: (i) had effects on psychosocial determinants and behaviors in the domains of smoking and safe sex, (ii) had effects on determinants and behaviors in three domains about which no lessons were taught (consumption of alcohol, fruit and breakfast). Multi-level analyses showed that the answer to both questions is positive. The results indicate that a transfer approach may have surplus value over the classic domain-specific approach and warrant further elaboration in the future.
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