Healthy Relationship News – October 2013





The Power of the Love Story:

Empowering Teens Through Literature



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Robert Wood Johnson Logo

Dear Friends –  


Thanks to the many people who voted, made comments, liked, and otherwise supported The Dibble Institute’s innovative pitch to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to reducing childhood trauma & adult health problems by teaching healthy relationship skills to parents.  


The more we link parental love lives and childhood outcomes the more common relationship education will become.  


Again, many thanks to you all!  


All best,

Kay Reed  




Kay Reed  

Executive Director  


PS See the latest research just below which proves this point!


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Journal of Adolescent Health

Disrupting Intergenerational Continuity in Harsh and Abusive Parenting:
The Importance of a Nurturing Relationship With a Romantic Partner


Harsh, abusive, and rejecting behavior by parents toward their children is associated with increased risk for many developmental problems for youth. Earlier research also shows that children raised by harsh parents are more likely to treat their own children harshly.  


Romantic partner warmth and positive communication appear to disrupt continuity in harsh and abusive parenting. As appropriate, preventive interventions designed to reduce risk for child maltreatment should include a focus on spousal or partner behaviors in their educational or treatment programs.





Media attention and the literature on lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth overwhelmingly focus on violence involving hate crimes and bullying, while ignoring the fact that vulnerable youth also may be at increased risk of violence in their dating relationships.  


This study examines physical, psychological, sexual, and cyber dating violence experiences among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth-as compared to those of heterosexual youth, and we explore variations in the likelihood of help-seeking behavior and the presence of particular risk factors among both types of dating violence victims.



Science Blog

Non-physical abuse by a dating partner such as threats and harassing texts effect teen well-being  


Non-physical abuse by a dating partner such as threats, controlling behavior and harassing text messages can have a serious effect on a teenager’s health and well-being, finds new research led by a Michigan State University scholar.  


The study, which appears in the research journal BMC Public Health, is one of the first to examine the effects of both physical and non-physical dating abuse that is relevant to today’s highly connected adolescents.  


While physical and sexual violence significantly affected the health and behavior of adolescents aged 13-19, non-physical abuse such as stalking through text messages or email also had a considerable effect, said Amy Bonomi, lead researcher on the study and chairperson and professor in MSU’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies.



The Telegraph

Girls think they have to act like porn stars to be liked by boys   

Almost a third of school pupils believe online pornography dictates how young people have to behave in a relationship, the study of 601 pupils aged 11 to 18 reveals.  


The majority of pupils surveyed – 72 per cent – also said porn should be talked about in sex education classes, suggesting existing lessons are too focused on the mechanics of reproduction and lack meaningful discussion about the issues young people face online every day.



Child Trends Databank

Sex Between Young Teens and Older Individuals  


The percentage of females who reported having had sex at age 15 or younger with a partner three or more years older declined slightly between 2002 and 2010, from 14 to 10 percent.  


Adolescent females who have older sexual partners are more likely to come from disadvantaged backgrounds and to have had higher levels of family dysfunction, while men in relationships with younger women are more likely to have criminal histories.  


Having an older sexual partner during adolescence is associated with less use of contraception, a greater risk of teen pregnancy, and even mental health problems and substance use.



Pub Med

History of dating violence and the association with late adolescent health    

This report expands upon prior studies by examining the relationship between health in late adolescence and the experience of physical/sexual and non-physical dating violence victimization, including dating violence types that are relevant to today’s adolescents (e.g ., harassment via email and text messaging).



USA Today

When female students excel, relationships can fizzle: Some ambitious young women are feeling relationship strain with less-motivated boyfriends    


Female college students are doing better than ever.  


Women earn about 60% of bachelor’s degrees, get better grades than their male peers and have even regained all the jobs they lost during the Great Recession, while men continue to struggle to bounce back – 2.1 million jobs short of their pre-recession numbers.  


But while ambitious young women are “leaning in,” some are feeling a strain on their relationships with less-motivated boyfriends.


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Latino Adolescent and Family Health    


Families Talking Together


Families Talking Together (FTT) is an evidence based program designed to help Latino parents better communicate with their children and teens about healthy relationships, sex, contraceptive use, and preventing pregnancy. The program was created by Dr. Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, co-director of the Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health at New York University’s Silver School of Social work.  


The FTT intervention-both the community health worker curriculum and parent materials – are available online, free of charge.




Huff Post Teen    

Love Lessons From HuffPost Teen Bloggers


Allow us to state the obvious: Love is complicated. One minute, you’re floating on a cloud of happiness that can only be induced by Nutella hot chocolate and all-day “Teen Wolf” marathons, and the next, your heart is being crushed — and not in the I-just-beat-a-new-level-of-Candy-Crush kind of way. But the good news is that you’re not alone in this emotional roller coaster, as proven by the awesome bloggers of HuffPost Teen, who have some words of wisdom to share with you.  


From break-ups to relationship dos and don’ts, read below for our top 10 biggest love lessons learned from our team of bloggers.


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 Dibble Webinars 

Register Now  

Who can resist a good love story? Stories bring us together, take us on adventures and help us evaluate ourselves – who we are and who we want to be. Stories give us ‘roots and wings’.  


Director of Outreach and former literature teacher of 15 years, Dixie Zittlow, shares “The Power of the Love Story.” Hear how the literature based anthology, The Art of Loving Well, serves as an excellent tool for teaching healthy relationship education in a creative and powerful manner.


Guest presenter: Dixie Zittlow

When: Wednesday October 9, 2013 at 4:00 PM Eastern time (1:00 PM Pacific)  

Duration: 60 minutes  

Who: Teachers (MS/HS) – FACS, Health, Language Arts; School Librarians, School Social Workers and Psychologists; Extension, Head Start Instructors and Program Directors, Youth Leaders, Pregnancy Prevention Specialists, Community Action, Juvenile Justice, and anyone who works with teens and young adults.

Cost: Free!


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Where is Dibble now?  

Come see us!


October 21-23, 2013  

195th Juvenile Justice National Symposium on Juvenile Services  

Louisville, KY

Workshop: My Parents Didn’t Parent Me  

Presenter: Irene Varley


October 22-25, 2013  

Healthy Teen Network  

Savannah, GA  

Workshop: What are Your Money Habitudes?  

Presenter: Joyce Huff  


October 28-29, 2013  

Washington State FACS  

Vancouver, Washington  

Workshop: Overcoming Abuses and Excuses  

Presenter: Nancy Lenk  


November 3-6, 2013  

Pathways to Promise: 25th Annual National Dropout Prevention Network  

Atlanta, Georgia  

Workshops: What Are Your Money Habitudes? and Love Notes  

Presenter: Joyce Huff


November 5-6, 2013  

Native American Fatherhood and Families Conference  

Mesa, AZ  

Workshop: The Missing Link: Relationship Education  

Presenter: Janet Pozmantier  


December 11-13, 2013 2013  

National Sex Education Conference  

Meadowlands, New Jersey  

Workshop: Boost Success – New Strategy to Integrate Pregnancy and STI Prevention with Healthy Relationships Education  

Presenter: Marline Pearson


February 11-14, 2013  

15th Annual Fathers and Families Conference  

Las Vegas, NV  

Workshop: The Greatest Gift to a Child: A Healthy Parental Relationship  

Presenter: Dixie Zittlow


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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