Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Human Development and Family Studies

Department name when degree awarded

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Kay Bradford


Kay Bradford


Linda Skogrand


Brian Higginbotham


This study was conducted with survey data drawn from a relationship education initiative in the state of Utah. Teenagers participated in the Premarital Interpersonal Choices and Knowledge (PICK) program (also known as How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk or Jerk-ette), a program designed for single individuals. They answered questions before and after the course, and I used their responses to answer two questions: (1) What concerns do middle-adolescents (ages 15-17) have about romantic relationships? (2) What do middle-adolescents gain from participation in PICK?

Data from 605 participants were combined and analyzed for themes. Teenage participants expressed concerns about gaining the skills and knowledge necessary for healthy building relationships. They also wanted to avoid risky relationship behaviors such as cheating, abuse, jealousy, and sexual coercion. They were interested in how relationships with peers and parents affect romantic relationships. These concerns aligned with the gains that they reported from participation in PICK.

Taking their responses together, participants said that PICK addressed their concerns by providing training in relationship skills and knowledge to help them avoid risky relationships. They were especially appreciative of the Relationship Attachment Model, a visual tool created to help them evaluate pacing, sequence, and behaviors in healthy relationships.