Relationship Resource: Developing a Relationship Education Mobile App for Adolescents
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Research has shown that participation and involvement in romantic relationships can be maladaptive and lead to problem behaviour among adolescents, such as poor academic performance and even substance abuse. Moreover, there is a growing body of evidence that competence with adolescent romantic relationships is linked to crucial dimensions of mental health including emotional regulation and relationship stability. In recognition of these behavioural, developmental and mental health implications, educators and curriculum designers have intensified their efforts to produce and expand on current relationship education programming for adolescents. Despite the success and promise of today’s adolescent relationship education programs, the traditional in-class format with which these programs are delivered limit them in terms of anonymity, accessibility and adaptability. Therefore, there is a need for a resource that specifically addresses these limitations. The current project involved developing a content module, wireframe and logo for a mobile-app aimed at increasing awareness and competence among adolescents as it relates to romantic relationships. The goal of the app is to foster the development of appropriate decision-making skills related to romantic relationship concerns by increasing user knowledge of and familiarly with challenging romantic relationship scenarios as well as provide the user with access to relevant external resources. To achieve this goal, the mobile application (a) displays various relationship scenarios and provides the user with possible choices and their potential consequences to be explored and reflected upon; and (b) provides current psychoeducation and resources related to adolescent relationship education. Following a discussion of strengths, limitations and potential improvements to the current mobile-app, plans for evaluating its efficacy once developed into a functional mobile-app and disseminating it to relevant professionals are described.