Evidence Based, NREPP Listed

Relationship Smarts PLUS 3.0


Parents often underestimate their influence on important teen decisions. In fact, research shows that “parent-teen connectedness” provides more protective power to youth than class, race or family structure.

Most parents are hungry for conversation starters and talking points around issues of teen relationships. Each lesson in Relationship Smart PLUS 3.0 includes an activity that makes critical conversations easier.

Relationships & Romance for Teens

More Details

By Marline Pearson
Grades: 8th-12th
Length: 13 one-hour lessons

What’s new in Relationship Smarts PLUS 3.0? Click here.

Evidence Based Results! Click here.

Relationship Smarts PLUS 3.0 is a lively 12-lesson evidence-based relationship skills curriculum for teens. Unlike fragmented approaches to youth development, Relationship Smarts PLUS integrates several essential concerns into a single high-impact program.Lessons address life skills, healthy relationships, dating violence, and pregnancy prevention, delivered by innovative educational strategies:

  • Building assets and strengthening protective factors.
  • Appealing to teen aspirations, rather than focusing on what they must avoid.
  • Exploring new motivators for behavioral change.
  • Empowering success with skills to form and maintain healthy relationships,
    make wise sexual choices, and work toward their goals.

Building Models and Confidence

Many young people today aspire to healthy relationships, but lack confidence in their ability to achieve these connections. This program supports them with vision building, skills, guides, and decision-making frameworks to achieve their goals.

Teens learn that healthy relationships begin with the individual— identifying personal strengths and weaknesses, understanding how your past influences the present, and attending to one’s own growth and development.

Lessons clarify what a healthy relationship is and isn’t. Teens learn ways to handle early attraction, identify relationship qualities they find important, and choose partners wisely.

Frameworks to assess relationships help teens in relationship decision-making. A low-risk strategy (Sliding vs. Deciding) to reduce the potential for risky behaviors and attachment to problem people.

Teens gain awareness of the “red flags” of unhealthy and abusive relationships as well as ways to exit those relationships safely. They discover how to set boundaries and respond to disrespect. They explore how to handle breakups and move forward.

Importantly, youth practice a powerful set of evidence-based skills to improve communication and handle conflict, in all kinds of relationships.

Relationship Smarts PLUS Cards

A Heart-based Approach to Sexual Decisions

Youth are rarely asked to think about sex beyond the usual health paradigm of reproduction, disease, and risk avoidance. A key assumption of this curriculum is that sexual choices cannot be treated in a vacuum outside of relationships and emotions. In the lessons, teens are guided to develop their personal goals, boundaries, and a context for sexual intimacy that is responsible, protective of their own aspirations, and personally meaningful.Lessons also offer medically accurate information about myths and facts regarding pregnancy, STI/STDs, risks, and protection.

A New Message on Pregnancy Prevention

Many pregnancy prevention messages focus on a young person’s self-interest. By contrast, Relationship Smarts PLUS 3.0 encourages them to step outside themselves and examine the consequences for children of unplanned pregnancy.

Relationship Smarts PLUS Posters
An Activity and Media-based Approach

Relationship Smarts PLUS 3.0 appeals to diverse youth, including both males and females. The style is easy to understand, colloquial, and reflective of current teen culture. Lively activities include popular media, narratives and poetry, numerous video clips, and a short film created by and with youth.An engaging student workbook encourages teens to review, to reflect on, and to apply what they have learned to their own lives.
Not least of all is the “Parent/Guardian-Teen Connection”– activities that convey core content to parents or guardians and serve as catalysts for critical trusted adult conversations.Components

  • 13 lessons complete and ready to teach
  • Teachers manual – 300 pages
  • Illustrated student workbook – 48 pages
  • PowerPoint slides -and handout masters online
  • Video clips (embedded in PowerPoints).
  • Activity cards pre-printed on cardstock
  • Four full color posters
  • “Toothpaste” video from Scenarios USA. (purchase separately)

Evidenced Based Results!

The 2013 edition has been significantly enhanced reflecting the recommendations from researchers at Auburn University based on hundreds of teachers reaching over 5,000 teens. The five-year, federally funded study produced many significant findings and articles in peer reviewed journals.

To access all the studies, click here.