Relationships are an integral part of the adolescent period and contribute to the development of interpersonal competence, positive future relationships, self-exploration, and other healthy physical, mental, and emotional outcomes. Unfortunately, teens have the highest reported rates of relationship violence compared with other age groups, confirming that youth are particularly vulnerable to intimate partner violence. Educating teens on the characteristics of healthy relationships, as well as providing them with associated resources, will increase their ability and intention to engage in healthy relationships and communicate more effectively. The goal of this study was to examine the effectiveness and utility of “Unequal Partners: Teaching about Power, Consent and Healthy Relationships” in increasing knowledge regarding healthy relationships, communication, and available resources among a sample (n= 40) of high school students in a small town in Virginia. Two, three week sessions (50 minutes each week) were implemented at the high school during extended learning times in the fall semester. Students completed a pre-test before the first session that measured demographics, relationship status and knowledge and the same test after the third session. Students were also asked to evaluate the utility of the program as part of a process evaluation. It is expected that students’ knowledge regarding healthy relationships, communication and finding help with relationship issues will increase from pre-test to post-test as a result of participation in the program. Additionally, it is expected that students will report the program was useful and applicable to them as part of the process evaluation.

Additional Abstract Information

Student(s): Katherine Kowalk

Department: Health Sciences

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Dayna Henry

Type: Poster

Year: 2018

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