Other Youth Topics

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  1. Youth Topics
  2. Expectant and Parenting Young Families
  3. Healthy Relationships and Co-Parenting

Healthy Relationships and Co-Parenting

The benefits of healthy relationships for expectant and parenting young families are multifaceted. Healthy relationship skills can improve communications among teen mothers and fathers and their family members and with each other. Whether they are in a romantic relationship or co-parents who are working together to raise their child, a healthy relationship between teen parents can help promote positive education and employment outcomes for both father and mother. It can also help promote their child’s positive development.1

Intimate Partner Violence/Teen Dating Violence

Expectant and parenting young mothers experience intimate partner violence, or teen dating violence, at higher rates than do older mothers.2 This population of adolescents is also likely to have experienced domestic violence during their childhood and which may have contributed to their teen pregnancy. Research has found that about 20 percent of pregnant teens report having experienced intimate partner violence.3

Role of Young Fathers

The involvement of teen fathers in the lives of their children has been shown to have a positive effect on their child’s social and cognitive development, which in turn has a positive effect on the child’s academic achievements.4 Additionally, teen mothers who feel supported by their partner are more likely to engage in positive health behaviors during their pregnancy and after giving birth.5 Young fathers are crucial to promoting positive outcomes for their family.

Resources

Co-Parenting: Resources and Best Practices for Service Providers (PDF, 7 pages)
This resource was developed to help youth-serving professionals who support young parents. It includes a description of the importance of co-parenting and its association with child well-being, and is followed by suggestions for how best to support young fathers and other caregivers in co-parenting programming services.

Dating Matters: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships
This resource from the CDC provides information on a comprehensive teen dating violence prevention initiative.

Intimate Partner Violence among Expectant and Parenting Youth (PDF, 46 pages)
The main objectives of this webinar slide set includes: 1) identifying factors that can place teens, especially expectant and parenting young families, at risk for IPV; 2) learning how to communicate with youth about IPV and the characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships; and 3) describing three components to develop an effective response and referral system for youth at risk for experiencing IPV.

Love Notes
Love Notes is a comprehensive healthy relationship education curriculum that teaches adolescents and young adults (14-24) how to build healthy romantic relationships, prevent dating violence, and improve impulse control. The program is designed to build young people's skills for cultivating healthy relationships, selves, and sexual behaviors: planning and pacing relationships and sex, self-efficacy and resilience around relationships, proven communication skills, and understanding how family formation impacts children. Love Notes consists of 13 one-hour lessons on decision-making, communication, and sexual and overall safety. The program can be delivered in multiple settings, such as community-based organizations, faith based agencies, community centers, social service agencies and resource centers in schools.

Serving and Working with Young Fathers
These resources are part of an OAH technical assistance series on working with young fathers. These resources can help professionals who serve young fathers and their families to reach and engage more young fathers; influence research, practice, and policy to better address the needs of this population; and improve the lives of young fathers and their families.

References

1 Office of Adolescent Health, 2017
2 Bekaert & Smithbattle, 2016
3 Mylant & Mann, 2008
4 Howard, Lefever, Borkowski, & Whitman, 2006
5 Martin, McNamara, Milot, Halle, & Hair, 2007; Kalil, Ziol Guest, & Coley, 2005

Other Resources on this Topic

Youth Briefs

How Individualized Education Program (IEP) Transition Planning Makes a Difference for Youth with Disabilities

Youth who receive special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and especially young adults of transition age, should be involved in planning for life after high school as early as possible and no later than age 16. Transition services should stem from the individual youth’s needs and strengths, ensuring that planning takes into account his or her interests, preferences, and desires for the future.

Youth Transitioning to Adulthood: How Holding Early Leadership Positions Can Make a Difference

Research links early leadership with increased self-efficacy and suggests that leadership can help youth to develop decision making and interpersonal skills that support successes in the workforce and adulthood. In addition, young leaders tend to be more involved in their communities, and have lower dropout rates than their peers. Youth leaders also show considerable benefits for their communities, providing valuable insight into the needs and interests of young people

How Trained Service Professionals and Self-Advocacy Makes a Difference for Youth with Mental Health, Substance Abuse, or Co-occurring Issues

Statistics reflecting the number of youth suffering from mental health, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders highlight the necessity for schools, families, support staff, and communities to work together to develop targeted, coordinated, and comprehensive transition plans for young people with a history of mental health needs and/or substance abuse.

Young Adults Formerly in Foster Care: Challenges and Solutions

Nearly 30,000 youth aged out of foster care in Fiscal Year 2009, which represents nine percent of the young people involved in the foster care system that year. This transition can be challenging for youth, especially youth who have grown up in the child welfare system.

Coordinating Systems to Support Transition Age Youth with Mental Health Needs

Research has demonstrated that as many as one in five children/youth have a diagnosable mental health disorder. Read about how coordination between public service agencies can improve treatment for these youth.

Civic Engagement Strategies for Transition Age Youth

Civic engagement has the potential to empower young adults, increase their self-determination, and give them the skills and self-confidence they need to enter the workforce. Read about one youth’s experience in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC).