What adolescents bring to and learn from relationship education classes: Does social address matter?

Jennifer L. Kerpelman, Joe F. Pittman, Francesca Adler-Baeder, Kate J. Stringer, Suna Eryigit, Hans Saint eloi Cadely, Marinda K. Harrell-Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The current study examined the effectiveness of a youth-focused relationship education curriculum in a sample of 1,430 adolescents attending health classes across 39 public high schools. The evaluation consisted of pre, post, and 1-year follow-up data collections for intervention and control samples. Growth curve models were fit to test the general effects of the curriculum and to examine the influence of social address indicators. Results indicated that the intervention group, but not the control group, changed in the desired direction in terms of the faulty relationship beliefs and the relationship skills that were the focus of this study. Desired improvements on the faulty relationship beliefs occurred independent of social address, but desired improvements in conflict management skills appeared only for the less socially or economically advantaged groups (e.g., lower socioeconomic status and minority status). Participants living in stepfamilies also significantly improved their perceived skills. Adolescents living in single-parent family structures appeared to benefit least from the program. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-112
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Couple and Relationship Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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