Newsletter: February 2008

Building Relationship Skills Newsletter
February 2008

Dear Friends –

This week, February 4 – 8, is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Week – a terrific opportunity to join teachers, law enforcement and public officials by conducting programs and activities for youth that promote awareness of healthy relationships. While teens will be receiving lots important messages about what not to do, it’s also critical to teach them what to do. …what to look for and expect in a healthy romantic relationship.

If proactively setting your teens up for success in their dating relationships and providing sound foundations for future marriages is a priority for you, the Dibble Institute is here to help! All of our research based, best practices materials focus on avoiding dating violence through teaching healthy conflict resolution skills and giving teens the ability to cultivate positive dating relationships.

The newest unit of Love U2: Relationship Smarts PLUS, contains cutting edge new material specifically about date violence prevention. Connections: Dating and Emotions includes a great lesson on spotting problem personality types. These are only two examples of the wealth of resources available through the Dibble Institute.

Visit our website at for a wealth of FREE resources, including sample lessons from our Dibble authors as well as teachers in the field that you can adapt to your own programs; aDating Violence Protocol for your use; and an outstanding fact sheet about dating violence for teens both of which can be downloaded and reproduced from our website.

Through your good work, you can prepare your teens for the best Valentine of all – a successful relationship!

Best wishes!

Kay Reed
Executive Director

P.S. Act on your good intentions! Sign up NOW to reserve your place at our Institutes at Smart Marriages this July… and take advantage of FREE or deeply discounted materials, thorough training, and a benchmark payment for your work!

RAND Reports On Relationship Education for Youth

The Rand Corp., internationally renowned for high quality, empirical research, recently published an outstanding evaluation of youth relationship education curricula entitled “Adolescent Romantic Relationships as Precursors of Healthy Adult Marriages“. Executive Director, Kay Reed and author, Marline Pearson were two of the experts consulted during the study.) The report, prepared for the Department of Health and Human Services, is intended as a guideline for program developers seeking to design comprehensive relationship education curricula for adolescents, and included Connections, Love U2© Relationships Smarts, and the Art of Loving Well in its evaluation.

The report has important sections focused on the latest theories of adolescent romantic relationship development, the current state of adolescent relationships, and a review of current curricula. The information in the study can be very helpful in building the case for teen relationship education.

While acknowledging that “the empirical foundation linking adolescent experiences to adult outcomes remains incomplete” at this time, the reports concludes….these programs “can address the consequences of adolescent romantic relationships that are likely to have the greatest effect on adult outcomes, either by encouraging adolescents to consider the possible consequences of their choices and behaviors more carefully or by teaching skills that help adolescents to manage possible negative consequences of their relationships more effectively”. “…it seems likely that programs most effective at promoting healthy adult marriages will be multifaceted, acknowledging that adolescents’ experiences in romantic relationships, and the long-term consequences of those experiences, are woven into the broader fabric of their lives”.

A free copy of the report can be downloaded from the RAND website.

Upcoming Dibble Institute trainings and workshops:

Feb. 25 – Training for St. Louis Healthy Marriage – Connections: Relationships and Marriage, one day, for interested teachers, Florissant Valley Community College, St. Louis, contact Bridget Brennan, 314-977-6308

April 14 – Professional Development Day for Health Educators – Teaching Relationship Skills, Kearney, NE, contact Ronda Dawson, 402-471-0159,

April 28 and 29, Professional Development Day for Pregnancy Prevention Staff of SNAP Long Island, one day presentation at: 4/2-Family Service League, 790 Park Ave., Huntington, NY and 4/29 – Cornell Cooperative Extension, 423 Griffing Ave., Riverhead, NY Contact: Kim Mansueto

If you would like to schedule a training or professional development day, please contact Irene Varley, Director of Education at

The Dibble Institute for Marriage Education is a nonprofit 501c3 organization dedicated to helping young people learn skills that enable successful relationships and marriages. We serve as a nationwide advocate and resource for youth marriage education. We develop, publish, and distribute materials that help teens learn healthy relationship skills.

Our research based, best practice, developmentally appropriate programs – being taught across the country – teach students the skills and knowledge that are central to building and maintaining healthy romances and, eventually, marriages.  Curricula are easily adapted to classroom, church, community, agency and youth group settings and are appropriate for Family and Consumer Science, career prep and English teachers; youth agency workers; independent living coordinators; abstinence and teen pregnancy prevention workers; camp and after school program staff; Healthy Marriage, CBAE, and Head Start grantees; youth pastors; social workers; and parents.

The Dibble Institute is nonpartisan and nonsectarian. Our activities are funded through sales of educational materials and services and through support from foundations, corporations and individuals.