Healthy Relationship News – May 2013






Relationship skills for students with autism and intellectual disabilities




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Redlands Daily Facts

Teen sex culture: Line blurred between sex and rape


It’s called slut-shaming, and it’s how teens often respond when learning that a classmate has been raped. In the adult world, it’s known as blaming the victim.  


Awash in a sexualized popular culture, teenage girls who are socialized to act and appear sexually enticing find their quest for popularity and fun sometimes morphing instantly into horror. But with a gulf of confusion among teens separating “yes” and “no,” consent and resistance, it’s often hard to tell the difference between sex and sexual assault.




Research and clinical experience suggest that issues related to suicide and depression in adolescence can negatively affect interpersonal relationships, including romantic relationships, in later life. To date, few large-scale studies have followed adolescents into early adulthood to examine relationship outcomes.  


To address this gap, Child Trends analyzed data from heterosexual young adults participating in Add Health (the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health). Young, heterosexual adults who reported depressive or suicidal symptoms during adolescence are significantly more likely to report violence in their adult romantic relationships. Findings from this study call attention to the long-term importance of helping adolescents dealing with depression or suicidal symptoms



Radboud University Nijmegen

Teen break-ups occur independent of how well couples handle disagreements   


Adults who resolve and recover from conflict are known to be happier in their romantic relationships but the same does not hold true for teen romances, according to research published April 17 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Thao Ha and colleagues from the Behavioural Science Institute of Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands. Thus, they conclude that conflict resolution and recovery may become more important in relationship satisfaction during late adolescence and adulthood, rather than the mid-teens.




Nearly one in five teen births is a repeat birth, according to the newest Vital Signs report. A repeat birth is a second (or more) pregnancy resulting in a live birth before the age of 20. Though data from CDC’s National Vital Statistics System show that teen birth rates in the United States have declined, there were almost 67,000 repeat teen births among teens aged 15-19 years in 2010.


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ACEs Pyramid

Visuals help to explain ACES Study   


The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations ever conducted to assess associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being. The study is a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente’s Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego.  


More than 17,000 Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) members undergoing a comprehensive physical examination chose to provide detailed information about their childhood experience of abuse, neglect, and family dysfunction. To date, more than 50 scientific articles have been published and more than100 conference and workshop presentations have been made.  


(Ed. Note: The ACES study clearly shows the link between family instability and health outcomes. We frequently make use of this study to illustrate the need for preventative healthy relationship skills programs.)


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Technology, such as the Internet, smart phones, and social media, can have great benefits in helping your children form and maintain relationships. At the same time, if not used with limits and guidance by your children, such use may prevent them from developing the essential relationship qualities and skills that have allowed us to make real connections and build real relationships for ages.




When it comes to dating, prom is one thing — many teens go to the event with a friend, not a romantic interest.  


But the big dance raises big questions about how parents handle dating issues with their teens and how they can help their teens with romantic issues. And the most important thing parents can do is keep the door wide open to conversation and to those prospective dates.




Prom season is here for many area teens. Whether it means picking out the perfect dress or asking that ‘special someone’ to the dance, that special night typically writes positive life-time memories for teens.  


But Bill Stanczykiewicz with the Indiana Youth Institute said prom season can also be a reminder that some kids are involved in a violent relationship with their date.



Autism Speaks

10 Steps to Help your Teen with Autism Navigate Dating   



For many teens with autism, the issues of dating and sexuality come up later than one might expect. But every teen is different. Some are eager as young teens, while others don’t appear interested until much later. Regardless, the physical changes that accompany adolescence make these issues relevant for most families.  


Of course, dating tends to be an exciting but challenging part of any teen’s life. However, some difficulties tend to be particularly relevant for teens with autism. None are insurmountable. Just keep them in mind while helping your teen navigate the dating process.  


(Ed. Note: Be sure to attend our May Webinar with Nancy Nowell on relationship skills and teens with autism.)  


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Jump Start

Syble Solomon, Money Habitudes Developer Honored by Jump$tart 


The North Carolina Jump$tart Coalition annually presents an award to an individual or organization that has made outstanding contributions in educating the youth of North Carolina about personal finances. On April 30, 2013, ,Syble Solomon received that award for her innovative approach to financial behavior, Money Habitudes. Congrats!



Newly Updated!      


What's Real What’s Real – Myths and Facts about Marriage 


Young people may not be thinking about marriage right now, but research shows that almost all of them aspire to a happy marriage and family in the future. Unfortunately, few have adequate knowledge about how to reach these goals.  


For many teens, expectations are shaped, not by facts, but by street wisdom, relentless exposure to media fantasies, and poor role models.


The just revised What’s Real offers a helpful alternative. The 7 hour-long lessons guide young people toward realistic views and strategies for lasting relationships.


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Dibble Webinars 


Relationship Skills for Students with Autism and Learning Disabilities  


Acclaimed expert and author, Nancy Nowell, will present Mike’s Crush, a curriculum focused on the unique needs of youth with Autism and other learning differences. In this webinar she will present practical solutions to typical peer, friendships, and romantic relationship concerns experienced by these young people.    

Register Now 


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USA Funds Support for College Success Programs Targeting Disadvantaged Students

USA Funds: Key Transitions in Postsecondary Education  


Key Transitions in Postsecondary Education, an initiative of USA Funds, is directed towards programs that provide educational support services benefiting low- income students, first-generation students, students of color, foster youth, and adult learners in an effort to increase their persistence to complete college.    

Three grants ranging between $400,000 and $800,000 for two to three years will be provided. Nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies are eligible to apply. The application deadline is May 24, 2013. Visit the USA Funds website to download the RFP.  


(Ed. Note – One reason young people fail to complete their post secondary goals is that their love lives get in the way. They may become pregnant or they may drop out to start or maintain a relationship. All good reasons to include healthy relationship skills in student success programs!)



Georgia Natural Gas  

Grants Address Community Issues in Georgia


  Georgia Natural Gas Corporate Giving Program 


The Georgia Natural Gas Corporate Giving Program supports a wide range of nonprofit organizations in the communities throughout the state that the company serves. Grantmaking areas of interest include the following: children and youth, education, seniors, energy assistance for consumers in need, environment and sustainability, and meaningful educational and cultural opportunities for the entire community. Funding requests may be submitted throughout the year. Visit the Georgia Natural Gas website for more information.



Medica FoundationHealth Initiatives in the Upper Midwest Funded

Medica Foundation


The Foundation provides funding to nonprofit organizations and government agencies within Medica’s service area in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and western Wisconsin. The Foundation will accept letters of inquiry in the following two categories: Early Childhood Health supports programs that focus on healthy families in order to foster optimal growth and development of young children. Letters of inquiry for this funding cycle will be accepted from May 1 through June 14, 2013. Visit the Foundation’s website for more information.  


(Ed. Note: Stable families are key to keeping children healthy. Teaching parents how to pace and plan their love lives will foster optimal development of young children.)



ECA Foundation Support for Youth Programs in West Virginia, Denver, and Houston

ECA Foundation 


The mission of the ECA Foundation is to maximize the development and potential of youth – academically, physically, and spiritually. The Foundation supports nonprofit organizations that directly impact communities where Energy Corporation of America (ECA) has operations. The Foundation provides grants for programs that focus on youth education, with preference given to programs that offer direct services. Requests are reviewed quarterly; the next application deadline is May 1, 2013. Visit the Foundation’s website to download the funding guidelines and requirements for giving.


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Where is Dibble now?

Come see us!


May 15-17, 2013

Adolescent Pregnancy and Prevention Campaign of North Carolina 

Greensboro, NC

Workshop: Charting a Path To Making Decisions about Sex and Healthy Relationships

Presenter: Dixie Zittlow


May 20-22, 2013

3rd Annual Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grantee Program 

Washington D.C. 

Workshop: The Power of Integrating Pregnancy Prevention & Healthy Relationships Education 

Panelist: Marline Pearson

May 29-31, 2013

Second Annual PREP Grantee Conference  

Baltimore, MD  

Workshop: Integrating Adult Preparation Topics-A Key to Strengthening Pregnancy Prevention 

Panelist: Marline Pearson

June 11, 2013  

2nd Annual Regional Fathers and Families Coalition of America Conference  

Chicago, Illinois  

Workshop: Parenting Through the Eyes of a Child  

Presenter: Dixie Zittlow


June 26-29, 2013

American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences National Conference

Houston, Texas

Workshop: What’s in Your Wallet? Using EQ Strategies to Build Financial Resiliency

Presenter: Janet Pozmantier


July 14-15, 2013

Kentucky Association of Careers and Technical Education 

Louisville, KY


– What are Your Money Habitudes?

– Things to Know Before You Say Go

Presenter: Nancy Lenk

July 22-24, 2013
 Missouri Association of Career and Technical Conference
Springfield, MO
Workshop:  What Is Your Money Habitude?
Presenter:  Joyce Huff

July 30-August 1, 2013
Family and Consumer Science Educators of Michigan
Frankenmuth, MI
Keynote Speaker:  Kay Reed
Our Love Lives Are Not Neutral: How family connections matter more than you think!
– Connecting Healthy Teen Relationships to Teen Wellness
– Kick Your Classroom and FCCLA Chapter into Gear with Excitement and Energy
Presenter:  Nancy Lenk

August 25-30, 2013
National Association for Relationship and Marriage Education
Anaheim, CA
Workshop:  Parenting through the Eyes of the Child
Presenter: Dixie Zittlow
Workshop: Relationality – The Amazingly Real to Life Research-Based Games about Relationships
Presenter:  Rebecca Brooks


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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