Healthy Relationship News – September 2014



Teens, Technology and Social Media: Impacts on Healthy Relationship Development



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MarriageMarkets If Marriage Moves Beyond Our Means 

‘Marriage Markets’ Looks at Pressures on Families

The realities eroding marriage are no secret. Recent decades have brought far better career opportunities for women, except among the very poorest. Most women do not need to endure an abysmal marriage because they see no way to earn a living. And, not surprisingly, a working-class woman with a decent job won’t commit to a man who can’t find or keep a job or, worse, might end up in prison.

The villain in this tale of family destruction is well known: the drying up of good blue-collar jobs, particularly for men, followed by the hollowing out of “middle management,” which had sustained millions of middle-class families. Read more


Mathematica Research PolicyBuilding Strong Families: Which families are most at risk?

Healthy marriage relationship skills education programs serving unmarried parents aim to help these couples improve their relationships, with the ultimate aim of supporting family stability and promoting child well-being. A central goal of these programs is to promote fathers’ sustained, active engagement in their children’s lives.

An evaluation of the federally funded Building Strong Families interventions find that the following risk factors are associated with fathers having little or no contact with their children three years after entering the program: below average couple relationship quality at program entry, the father’s having a child from a previous relationship, and the father’s having grown up without his own father present. In addition, fathers who showed signs of psychological distress when entering the program had the greatest risk of having little contact with their children three years later.


NewYorkTimesDecisive Marriage

New research shows that how thoughtfully couples make decisions can have a lasting effect on the quality of their romantic relationships. Couples who are decisive before marriage — intentionally defining their relationships, living together and planning a wedding — appear to have better marriages than couples who simply let inertia carry them through major transitions.

“Making decisions and talking things through with partners is important,” said Galena K. Rhoades, a relationship researcher at the University of Denver and co-author of the report. “When you make an intentional decision, you are more likely to follow through on that.”

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National Fatherhood InitiativeDibble Forms Partnership with National Fatherhood Initiative

The Dibble Institute is pleased to announce that we have joined forces with National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI), to offer two acclaimed Dibble programs to fatherhood and other community-based organizations across the nation.

Relationships Smarts PLUS 3.0 and Love Notes help at-risk teens as well as young adults and young parents learn how to create healthy relationships—and ultimately—healthy, strong families.

NFI president Christopher A. Brown says:

“We know that there has been a lack of quality programs for teen and young adult dads because our customers have asked for such programs for many years. We could have created our own programs, but after conducting research into the salient issues facing this population—and whether such programs already exist that have been shown through evaluations to be effective with males—we discovered the two Dibble programs which center on healthy relationships.

"And with that being perhaps the most salient of the issues, it was a no-brainer to make these two Dibble programs a part of our offerings. They allow organizations to work with teen and young adult dads separately or couples together, and NFI to continue expansion of our resources for moms focused on improving the relationships between dads and moms for the sake of children.”


Relationship Smarts coverRelationship Smarts PLUS 3.0 Upgrade Available Through September

Last January we launched the new Relationship Smarts PLUS 3.0 with an upgrade offer of 50% off for instructors with an earlier version of the program.

Many of you responded. But some told us that even at this really low price, they didn’t have the funds in their budgets.

So just through September, if you send us a copy of the cover on your prior version, we will send you the new Relationship Smarts PLUS for only $180.

We think this version and this price are too good to miss!

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Dating With Asperger's Advice For Dating With Asperger's: Don't Call 100 Times A Week 

Dating isn't easy, and it's even less so when you've got Asperger's, an autism spectrum disorder that can make it hard to read social cues.

Jesse Saperstein knows that all too well. In his new book, the 32-year-old tells his fellows on the spectrum that they need to be up front with potential dates that they have Asperger's. And he says they also need to realize that what feels to them like sincere interest can all too often be perceived as creepiness. This is an edited version of a conversation on NPR.

(Editor’s Note: Mike’s Crush, available at Dibble, teens with autism and intellectual disabilities how to establish healthy and safe relationships with their peers, including friendship and romantic relationships.)


Office of Adolescent Health Sustaining Youth-Serving Programs

The Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) wants youth-serving organizations to keep up the great work they are doing in their communities. An e-learning module goes step-by-step through OAH’s Sustainability Framework and Resource Guide. Programs can also use the Sustainability Assessment to see how well-prepared their organization is to sustain their important work.


At Your LibrarySeptember is Literacy Month

National Literacy Month provides great opportunities to encourage all teens to read, and some resources to help our young parents read more to their children.  We know reading is an important part of optimal brain development, and good habits can last a lifetime. will be kicking off their library card sign up campaign, and comic book legend Stan Lee will be the spokesperson.  Materials to share can be found here.

(Editor’s Note: We highly recommend utilizing THE ART OF LOVING WELL, a nationally acclaimed, literature based relationship skills curriculum from Boston University, to encourage reading and teach healthy relationship skills at the same time!)

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Second Wednesday Webinars

Teens, Technology and Social Media: Impacts on Healthy Relationship Development

Significant numbers of teens and young adults use social media as their main source of communicating with friends both those they have met in person and online. Today’s technology allows adolescents instant but distant access to each other yet, at what price?

We wonder – “How will social media affect young people’s ability to build healthy, ongoing relationships? How will the new technologies affect their social skills? What can we do to help teens and young adults navigate this new terrain safely while building essential interpersonal skills?”

Join Jennifer Myers and Aaron Larson as they:

  • Share how social media impacts the relationships and interactions of teens and young adults.
  • Introduce a just-released supplementary lesson from Relationship Smarts PLUS on Technology and Social Media, using the new Dibble Digital platform.

Presenters: Jennifer Myers, M.A., L.P.A., holds a masters degree in clinical psychology, is a full-time Instructor in the Psychology Department at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, NC, and has a private clinical psychology practice at Carolina Counseling Center, specializing in adolescents.

Aaron Larson, Dibble Digital Coordinator. Aaron has worked for the US Department of Health and Human Services as a Healthy Marriage Specialist. He was also the director of the National Healthy Marriage Institute.

When: Wednesday, September 10, 2014

at 4:00 pm Eastern/1:00 pm Pacific

Who Should Attend: PREP Grantees, Extension Agents, Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood programs, Family and Consumer Sciences teachers, Out-of-School Time Instructors, anyone who is concerned about social media and teens and wants to make a difference.

Register Now!

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(CO, NM, UT, WY)

Daniels Fund The Daniels Fund

The Daniels Fund provides grants to nonprofit organizations in funding areas--Aging, Alcoholism, & Substance Abuse, Amateur Sports, Disabilities, Early Childhood Education, K-12 Education Reform, Ethics & Integrity in Education, Homeless & Disadvantaged, and Youth Development. The fund was established by Bill Daniels, using the experiences and relationships of his life as motivation.


Grants Address Poverty in the Southeast

Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation

Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation

The Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation assists people in the southeast United States to build just and caring communities that nurture people, spur enterprise, bridge differences, and foster fairness. The Foundation is dedicated to helping people and places to move out of poverty and achieve greater social and economic justice. Grants are provided to local, statewide, and regional nonprofits in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia that work with people in low-wealth communities to shape their own destiny.

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Come See Us

Would you like a Dibble Outreach Educator at your conference? Email Irene Varley, Director of Education, at to find out how.


Please let us know if you are having an open to the public event featuring Dibble curricula. We would be happy to help you publicize it.

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You Tube

 Dibble YouTube favorites

Check out our favorite videos for teens, instructors, and parents!


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