Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education for High School Students:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation
- One year after study enrollment, students offered the full RQ+ curriculum and students in the control group reported similar levels on 9 of 10 outcomes related to their relationship skills, attitudes, and knowledge. For one outcome related to unrealistic relationship beliefs, students offered the full RQ+ curriculum were more likely than students in the control group to disagree with the belief that feelings of love are enough to sustain a happy marriage.
- One year after study enrollment, the impacts for students offered the full, 12-lesson version of RQ+ were not consistently different from the impacts for students offered the shortened, 8-lesson version.
- Exploratory analyses uncovered small, positive impacts of both the full and shortened versions of RQ+ on students’ relationship attitudes immediately after the program ended, but they did not uncover evidence of impacts on students’ relationship expectations or experiences after one year.
- Taken together, the overall pattern of results suggests that the program had the expected immediate impacts on some outcomes at the end of the program, but that these impacts faded by one year after the program ended. Offering 12 versus 8 lessons had no influence on the overall pattern of results.
This report is the second 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 one year after students enrolled in the study. Exploratory analyses also use data from a program exit survey. An earlier report provides detailed information on the program’s design and implementation. A future report will examine longer-term program impacts based on a follow-up survey of students two to three years after they enrolled in the study. The study was conducted by Mathematica and Public Strategies as part of the Strengthening Relationship Education and Marriage Services (STREAMS) evaluation for the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.