Self-Regulation Training Approaches and Resources to Improve Staff Capacity for Implementing Healthy Marriage Programs for Youth: Final Report

Self-Regulation Training Approaches and Resources to Improve Staff Capacity for Implementing Healthy Marriage Programs for Youth: Final Report

OPRE Report Number: 2020-122
Published: Oct 29, 2020
Publisher: Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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Authors

Aly Frei

Diane Paulsell

Mindy Herman-Stahl

Chelsea Yamamoto

Key Findings
  • Incorporating co-regulation into HMRE programs took time and investment. Educators reported benefiting from ongoing coaching and reinforcement to provide co-regulation support and implement the strategies as intended.
  • Educators reported that with practice, the co-regulation strategies improved youth engagement and reduced disruptions, such as youth talking over one another or using cell phones during the session.
  • Successful integration of a co-regulation framework into HMRE programs required a partnership between researchers and practitioners that combined the wisdom and input of key stakeholders in the field.

Self-Regulation Training Approaches and Resources to Improve Staff Capacity for Implementing Healthy Marriage Programs for Youth (SARHM) is a formative research project to develop and test the integration of co-regulation approaches in two youth-serving HMRE programs. It is funded by the Office of Family Assistance (OFA) and overseen by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE). SARHM focused on youth and young adults aged 14 to 24 because this is a time of rapid brain change and development. It also is a time of many transitions, risks, and opportunities. However, there are few resources to guide youth-serving practitioners in supporting youth self-regulation development. Adult support is critical for helping young people make healthy decisions, engage in prosocial behaviors, and prepare for the future (Rosanbalm and Murray 2017). The goal of this report is to share strategies and resources for practitioners and researchers interested in enhancing adult-youth co-regulation in real-world settings to promote youth self-regulation and boost program implementation and effects. Strategies include effective use of praise, steps to foster a welcoming environment, tailored noticing or mindfulness exercises, tips for using breath to enhance focus, steps for successful skills coaching, and approaches for staff to reduce stress and achieve goals.

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