Newsletter: August 2009

Building Healthy Relationship Skills Newsletter – August 2009

  • Teaching social and emotional skills raises test scores
  • Young people need relationship skills for workplace and college readiness
  • Young adult expectations about relationships and marriage remain high
  • Attention teachers – we need your hours!
  • Bullying tipsheets
  • The Dibble Institute calendar

Dear Friends,If you’re struggling with reduced budgets this fall and need to make every educational penny count, current research insists that one of your top priorities needs to be teaching healthy social and emotional skills. These skills, or the lack of them, drive school climate and student success.Students with good social skills and emotional control – critical life skills – experience fewer problems, display more positive and less negative behaviors in school, and are better able to perform academically. They are also better prepared for college, the workplace, and life. This is a win-win situation for everyone with a lot of evidence to back it up.On July 21, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (PBS) aired an outstanding segment about this issue and the critical long-term benefits of teaching social and emotional skills to students. It cited a new report that assessed 300,000 students nationwide in schools that teach social and emotional skills. Among the spectacular findings:

  • 10% improvement in positive behaviors: e.g. listening in class, not cutting class, liking school, enjoying education, feeling bonded with the teacher
  • Academic achievement test scores: up 11%
  • 10% reduction in antisocial and violent behaviors: e.g. fighting, bullying, disrupting class

Another report recently released by Child Trends, and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, about workplace and college readiness, stresses the need for social and emotional education in our schools. It concludes that skills like cooperation, working in teams, negotiating, resolving conflicts and communication skills are responsible for better long-term outcomes in college, adult life and the workplace.Finally, Child Trends has released more important findings (see article below) that indicate that most young people have positive view of marriage and wish to be married some day. And, that young adults value love, fidelity, and commitment. And, they also have positive attitudes towards cohabitation (which in some circumstances may get in the way of achieving their goal of a healthy marriage). It heartens me to know that when we help young people get smart about their love lives, that we are giving them something they already want.The Dibble Institute excels at teaching young people these critical social and emotional skills by focusing on healthy romantic relationships. We are here to help you with award-winning programs that you can count on. A growing body of research by institutions like Harvard and Auburn Universities supports the positive impact of our curricula. Make them a key part of your lesson plans.Our catalog contains cutting edge new curricula with the relevant resources you need NOW and over 50 of the best resources for teaching healthy romantic relationship skills to teens. As families and teens face greater economic and social strains, these lessons will be needed more than ever.Thanks for all your great work!With all good wishes,Kay Reed,Executive Director


Times Have Changed, But Young Adults Still Have High Expectations for Love and MarriageDespite the recent increases in nonmarital childbearing and cohabitation, most young adults in the U.S. have positive views of marriage and wish to marry someday, according to a new Child Trends brief. The brief, Young Adult Attitudes about Relationships and Marriage: Times May Have Changed, But Expectations Remain High, also finds that young adults value love, fidelity, and commitment in their relationships, and have positive attitudes about cohabitation.Child Trends researchers analyzed data on 12,000 young adults between the ages of 20 and 24 from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Among the findings:

  • About three-quarters of 20- to 24-year olds are in romantic relationships. 21 percent are married, 20 percent are unmarried but living together, and 35 percent are in a romantic relationship, but not living with their partner.
  • 83 percent of unmarried 20- to 24-year olds think it is important or very important to be married someday, and 70 percent believe that there is a good or certain chance that they will be married within the next ten years.
  • Among cohabiting young adults, less than half want to be married “now,” but 84 percent think it is important to be married someday.
  • More than three-fourths of young adults believe that love, fidelity, and making a lifelong commitment are very important to a successful relationship, while less than one-fourth consider money of overriding importance.
  • 57 percent of young adults agree that it is all right for unmarried couples to live together (cohabit) even if marriage is not being considered; 24 percent disagree, and 19 percent are neutral on the issue.

Read the USA Today article featuring this study.(From ChildTrends E-Newsletter, dated July 9, 2009)


Attention Dibble Healthy Marriage Grant teachers – we need your hours!If you have taught one of the Dibble grant-funded curricula, we need to know about your good work! Whether or not you want the benchmark payment, Uncle Sam wants to know how many students you taught! This information is required for us to keep and expand the terrific grant opportunities we strive to bring you. Please contact Natalie Middleton with your student numbers and progress at:natalie.middleton@publicstrategies.comToll Free 877-435-8033 ext. 135Fax 877-563-3484


Bullying TipsheetsTeachers, take advantage of two great free resources! Connect with Kids has produced downloadable parent tipsheets about bullying and cyber bullying that support character education in the classroom. These supplements get the whole family behind your good work!Stay tuned….The Dibble Institute will shortly be releasing a new program that addresses healthy relationships both in-person and on-line!


The Dibble Institute CalendarSeptember 252nd Annual Kansas Healthy Marriage ConferenceLawrence, KSContact: Joyce Webb 316-295-2335“Don’t Worry, It’s Just My First Wedding” Keynote“Fundraising 101 – Strategies for Thriving in Changing Times” WorkshopPresenter: Kay ReedSeptember 28Risky Business XXII ConferenceIowa Association of Alternative EducationAirport Holiday Inn Conference CenterDes Moines, IAInformation and registration: www.iaae.net“Introduction to Love Notes: Making relationships work for young adults and young parents” WorkshopPresenter: Joyce HuffOctober 23 and 24Healthy Teen Network Annual ConferenceTampa, FLInformation and Registration: www.HealthyTeenNetwork.org“Introduction to Love Notes: Making relationships work for young adults and young parents” WorkshopPresenter: Marline PearsonNeed a Speaker?The Dibble Institute can customize a keynote, plenary, or workshop to meet the individual needs of your organization. Our presentations are interactive, high-paced and exciting!Simply let us know what you are trying to accomplish and we will do our best to get you there.For more information, please contact Irene Varley, Director of Education, at 941-360-1859 (M-F, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Eastern Time).


About The Dibble InstituteFounded in 1996, The Dibble Institute (TDI) is a private, nonprofit organization equips young people with the skills and knowledge they need for healthy romantic relationships now and In the future. Some of our activities include:

  • Raising awareness of the needs for and benefits of helping young people learn the skills needed to navigate their romantic lives;
  • Developing and distributing teaching materials designed for use in schools and a wide variety of other settings,
  • Educating opinion leaders and policy makers;
  • Training teachers and youth instructors;
  • Consulting on effective implementation strategies and grant application approaches, and
  • Serving as a clearinghouse to collect and disseminate timely and relevant research and other evidence of the benefits of youth relationship education.

TDI programs are used in all 50 states and around the world in thousands of schools, youth agencies, and other youth programs impacting tens of thousands of young people. We are funded primarily by the sales of our educational materials and training programs. For more information, please visit www.DibbleInstitute.org.©2009 The Dibble Institute – Phone: 1-800-695-7975