Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education for High School Students: The Longer-Term Impacts of Relationship Smarts PLUS in Georgia
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation
- Three years after study enrollment, students offered the full RQ+ curriculum and students in the control group reported similar levels on seven outcomes related to their relationship experiences, quality, and skills. However, we were unable to precisely measure program impacts for two additional outcomes related to relationship quality—students’ happiness with their current relationship and their satisfaction with their current relationship—because these outcomes were available for only a small and select portion of the full sample. In addition, in checking the robustness of our findings, we found some evidence suggesting that the program had impacts three years later for girls, but not boys.
- Three years after study enrollment, we found only one statistically significant impact when comparing students offered the full, 12-lesson version of RQ+ to students offered the shortened, 8-lesson version of RQ+. Specifically, students offered the full curriculum were less likely than students offered the shortened curriculum to report having sex without using a condom in the last three months. However, this impact did not remain statistically significant when we used other estimation strategies or when we adjusted for the total number of significance tests conducted across the study’s three research groups.
This report is the third in a series on the implementation and impacts of an HMRE program delivered to students in two Atlanta-area high schools. For the study, trained facilitators from More than Conquerors Inc., a nonprofit social service agency near Atlanta, delivered the Relationships Smarts PLUS (RQ+) Version 3.0 curriculum in health classes for primarily 9th grade students. The impact study compared groups of students who were offered two different versions of the curriculum—the full 12-lesson, 18 hour version and a shortened 8-lesson, 12 hour version developed for this study—against a control group of students who were not offered any HMRE programming. This report documents the study methods and presents program impacts based on follow-up data collected around three years after students enrolled in the study.