This book focuses on the crucial role that relationships play in the lives of teenagers. The authors particularly examine the ways that healthy relationships can help teens avoid such common risk behaviors as substance abuse, dating violence, sexual assault, and unsafe sexual practices. Addressing the current lack of effective prevention programs for teens, they present new strategies for encouraging healthy choices.
The book first traces differences between the “rules of relating” for boys and girls and discusses typical and atypical patterns of experimentation in teens. The authors identify the common link among risk behaviors: the relationship connection. In the second part of the book, they examine the principles of successful programs used by schools and communities to cultivate healthy adolescent development. An illuminating conclusion describes the key ingredients for engaging adolescents, their parents, teachers, and communities in the effort to promote healthy, nonviolent relationships among teens.