PREP - Healthy Relationships
Many existing school- or community-based programs designed to prevent pregnancy and STIs for youth focus on general sexual behaviors, but typically do so outside the context of adolescent relationships. Since most teenagers have their first sexual encounters within the context of dating relationships, it is important to teach youth how to build and navigate healthy relationships and end unhealthy ones.
Healthy Relationship Topics
- Information about gender-based stereotypes (including sexual double standards).
- How to show caring and affection without having sex.
- Conflict management skills.
- Parent-child communication.
- Communication skills.
- Limit setting, and navigating different limits in relationships.
- Skills to develop healthy relationships.
- Identifying unhealthy relationships.
- Skills to safely end unhealthy relationships.
Factors Associated with Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships
- Open and honest communication
- Limit setting
- Older partner
- Emotional and/or physical abuse
- Relationship revolves only around sex
Tips on incorporating Healthy Relationship Activities
- Involve parents in the conversation about building healthy relationships so young people are aware of the values their parents wish to convey to them about healthy relationships.
- Utilize interactive formats for program activities.
- Use booster sessions to continue to support healthy relationship messages that are developmentally appropriate.
- Include families, health care workers, media, and community-based organizations (CBOs) that serve youth to reinforce messages about healthy relationships.
- Incorporate peer education into programs - peers are an important influence in shaping adolescent attitudes.
- Be inclusive by considering developmental level, culture, sexual orientation, and prior dating experience.
The above information was taken from: Family and Youth Services Bureau. Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, PREP Adult Preparation Subjects – Resource Guide (PDF), 2011
PREP Curricula Incorporating Healthy Relationship Activities and/or Lessons
Healthy Relationship Curricula, Lessons and Media
- The Art of Loving Well
- Baby Smarts
- The Dangers of Sexting: What Teens Need to Know
- Dating and Emotions
- Dealing with Teen Dating Abuse: Matters of Choice
- Healthy Choices Healthy Relationship (PDF)
- Love Notes (PDF)
- Relationship Smarts PLUS
- Relationships and Marriage
- Sex Smarts
- Things to Know Before You Say "Go"
Articles on Healthy Relationships
- ACT for Youth Center of Excellence Research Facts and Findings
- Adolescent Romantic Relationships (PDF)
- Center for Young Women’s Health
- Healthy Relationships. Includes topics of family, friends, dating, and parents.
- Safety in Relationships
- Child Trends Research Brief
- Characteristics of Young Adult Sexual Relationships: Diverse, Sometimes Violent, Often Loving, #2011-01 (PDF)
- Telling It Like It Is: Teen Perspectives on Romantic Relationships, #2009-44 (PDF)
- Young Adult Attitudes About Relationships and Marriage: Times May Have Changed, But Expectations Remain High, #2009-30 (PDF)
- Planned Parenthood
- How to have a great relationship
- Does Your Relationship Need a Check-up
- Unhealthy Relationships: Seeing Past the Stereotypes
Other Healthy Relationship Links
- Dating Matters™ Initiative
- Understanding Teen Dating Violence Prevention is a free 60-minute, interactive training designed to help educators, youth-serving organizations, and others working with teens understand the risk factors and warning signs associated with teen dating violence.
- The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline
- Love is Respect is a website with resources on dating basics, conflict resolution, including electronic quizzes such as "Am I a Partner?" and "Healthy Relationships Quiz," and a 24-hour peer advocate hotline.