Healthy Relationship News – January 2011


Teen Attitudes towards Marriage and Family Remain Positive
(if a bit mixed)

Since 1976, a nationally representative survey of high-school seniors aptly titled Monitoring the Future has been conducted annually by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.1 It asks numerous questions about family-related topics. Based on this survey, the percentage of teenagers of both sexes who say that having a good marriage and family life is “extremely important” to them has remained high over the decades. Recently, 81 percent of girls agreed with this statement, as did 72 percent of the boys. Other data show a moderate increase in the percentage of teenage respondents who say that they expect to marry (or who are already married) — recently 84.5 percent for girls and 77 percent for boys.

Another remarkable increase is in the acceptance of living together before marriage, now considered “usually a good idea” by well over half of all teenagers (despite that the data show it doesn’t increase the chance for a long-lasting marriage). In this case, girls remain slightly more traditional than boys.

To download the complete report click  here.


Boston domestic violence program rates 10 worst and best relationship songs

Check out the full list of 10 worst relationship songs and those that made the list of 10 best.

Even better, teens can download a Boston Public Health Commission form called True View, which allows them to rate how relationships are portrayed in their favorite videos, just like the teens who come up with the 10 best and 10 worst lists.


Romance and Suicide

Gay or Straight, Teenagers Aren’t So Different

In a recent New York Times article, Dr. Lisa Diamond, an associate professor of psychology and gender studies at the University of Utah, is quoted as saying: “What most commonly precipitates suicide attempts in both heterosexual and homosexual adolescents is being dumped by a romantic partner. Kids who lose someone they cared about need to be listened to in a sensitive way, offered support and comfort, and reassured that this is not their only chance of finding love.”

Editor’s Note: We hear that in Colorado a suicide prevention hotline is using Relationship Smarts PLUS as a strategy to reduce gay and lesbian suicide attempts.


Last Chance!

FREE Relationship Smarts PLUS Webinar for youth workers

Do the young people you work with have love lives? And, do those love lives ever cause them (or you) problems or concerns? Learn about Relationship Smarts PLUS an easily implemented, research based, evaluated program that helps young people get smart about their love lives.

Please join us for an overview of this engaging, evidence-based relationship skills curriculum for middle and high school youth!

Register for the free webinar here.


Violence is Violence

Sibling, peer, and dating physical violence linked.

A study, published in the December issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, is the first to directly link sibling, peer, and dating physical violence in a representative sample of high school students, according to lead author Emily Rothman, an SPH associate professor of community health sciences.

 “If someone is hitting a sister or brother or getting into fistfights at school, the odds that they will use force with a dating or sexual partner are high, particularly if they are male,” she says. “Adults need to intervene early when they become aware that a teen is using violence.”

Rothman and colleagues surveyed 1,398 high school students at 22 public high schools in Boston between January and April 2008. Of those who were violent with siblings, 29 percent were also violent with dating partners, and of those who were violent with peers, 27 percent were also violent with dating partners.

Editor’s Note: This BU study includes some very useful data.  I suspect we’ll be hearing more about it, but here’s a link to the campus paper as well as a relevant excerpt.


Tech firms hiring execs with ‘softer’ skills

Personality traits such as emotional maturity and the ability to get along with others have taken on more importance in executive searches, top recruiters say. …Read the rest of the story

Editor’s Note: We know from research that teens will transfer the relationship skills they learn from one venue (i.e. dating) to another (i.e. work).  What better way to prepare our young people for life!



Save the date –

The Dibble Institute Calendar

January 23-24, 2011
Texas Association Concerned with School-age Parenthood
Houston, TX
Workshop: Leading Teens Toward Healthy Love Connections
Presenter: Joyce Huff

January 27, 2011

Free WebinarThe Missing Link – helping young people get smart about their love lives


1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Eastern Time

Presenters: Kay Reed; Jennifer Kerpelman, Ph.D.; Ted Futris, Ph.D.

Register here 

February 4-5, 2011

Career and Technical Education Conference

Anchorage, Alaska

Workshop: Deciding, Not Sliding through Life

Presenter: Nancy Lenk

February 9-12, 2011
National Conference on Alternative Education
Nashville, TN
Workshop: Love Notes
Presenter: Joyce Huff

April 26-29, 2011

Forging the Partnership – 2011 DoD/USDA Family Resilience Conference

Workshop: Relationship Smarts PLUS

Presenter: Ted Futris, Ph.D. and Georgia Extension Agents