Symposium 5

  • 11:30 am To 1:00 pm on July 20, 2019
  • Terrace Room Bramber House

Applying Relationship Science to Youth Relationship Education to Reduce High Risk Behavior

Recent focus on the developmental importance of adolescent romantic relationships led to the formation and implementation of curricula that educate adolescents about healthy romantic relationships. The first paper shares results of a meta-analysis on YRE effectiveness. The next three papers give examples of the impact of various YREs on youth behavior among high risk youth including pregnant and parenting Latina youth, African American youth, foster youth and refugee youth from Africa on gains in knowledge about healthy relationship characteristics, relationship efficacy, improved communication skills, reduced endorsement of controlling behaviors, and reduced use of abusive tactics in resolving conflict.

"We have a more good relationship”: An Overview and Evaluation of a Relationship Education Program for Pregnant and Parenting Adolescents

This presentation will provide an overview of a relationship education program for pregnant and parenting adolescents. We will discuss the core components, how the program has evolved, challenges faced, as well as promising practices. We will also share findings from our qualitative evaluation, which included a total of 47 primarily Latina adolescent mothers. Our findings suggest the program was effective in increasing participants’ knowledge of healthy relationship characteristics, improving their communication skills, and reducing the amount of abusive tactics they used when resolving conflicts with their partners. These findings affirm the importance of providing skill-based relationship education to adolescent parents.

Context Matter: Variations in Youth Relationship Education Implementation and Outcomes

The current study explores how program and youth characteristics are associated with variations in adolescents’ relationship efficacy following youth relationship education (YRE). Data were collected from a diverse sample of adolescents who completed the Relationship Smarts Plus program. Our findings reinforce the positive influence that YRE can have on adolescents’ relationship efficacy, and show variations in outcomes based on the audience served as well as the timing, setting and intensity of the program. Implications for applied relationship science will be shared.

Impact of Love Notes on Interpersonal Violence Attitudes

The current presentation is based on a larger teen pregnancy prevention study with high risk youth randomly assigned to either Love Notes, Reducing the Risk or the Power of We (POW. , Participants completed a survey at baseline, immediately after the intervention and 3, 6 and 12 months after the completion of the intervention including the Interpersonal Violence Attitudes-R (IVA-R) scale (Fincham, et al, 2008). The IVA-R has three sub-scales measuring endorsement of controlling behavior, abusive behavior and violent behavior. Differences across time and between groups was found for endorsement of controlling behaviors. Other results and implications will be discussed.

Promoting Healthy Relationship Behaviors and Reducing Risk: A Meta-Analysis of the Effectiveness of Youth Relationship Education Programs

Recent focus on the developmental importance of adolescent romantic relationships led to the formation and implementation of curricula and programs that educate high school-aged youth about healthy romantic relationships. This meta-analytic study examines the efficacy of youth relationship education (YRE) on multiple outcomes: conflict management, faulty relationship beliefs, and healthy relationship attitudes. Hedge's g effect sizes from 16 studies were significant for two of the three outcomes and are comparable with effects of other prevention programs. Overall, YRE programs are effective in improving conflict management and faulty relationship beliefs.