Love Notes EBP
About This Program
Target Population: Young people and young parents ages 14-25
For children/adolescents ages: 14 – 25
Love Notes EBP is designed to teach teens and young adults about how to make wise choices about partners, sex, relationships, pregnancy, and more in an effort to prevent unplanned pregnancy, single parenting, and troubled relationships. Love Notes EBP approaches these topics by integrating relationship skills with pregnancy and intimate partner violence prevention along with practical strategies for motivating change. The program is designed to present:
- A realistic context for learning that incorporates language, values and scenarios that is relevant to this audience
- An appeal to aspirations that helps youth to cultivate a personal vision for love, intimacy, and success
- New motivations for behavioral change, such as exploring, from a child's perspective, the impact of unplanned pregnancy and unstable relationships
The goals of Love Notes EBP are:
- Reduce likelihood of pregnancy, especially if you are more at-risk for an unplanned pregnancy or are already parenting
- Reduce and prevent intimate partner violence
- Empowerment to prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in your own children
- Build assets and strengthen protective factors in relationships
- Improve communication skills in order to handle anger and regulate strong emotions, talk through difficult or sensitive issues, raise issues and complaints more effectively, recognize hidden issues, and solve problems within relationships
- Gain skills to slow down relationships, helping to improve and stabilize current or future relationships, or decide to stay single and out of unstable or destructive relationships in favor of focusing on your own development
View the Logic Model for Love Notes EBP.
The essential components of Love Notes EBP include:
- Application of the intervention:
- Recommended group size: 8 to 25 participants
- Minimum of 12 hours of Love Notes EBP instruction based on Love Notes EBP manual
- Participant workbooks and COLORS personality sorters required
- Use of Love Notes EBP PowerPoint required for fidelity
- Additional content from Love Notes Classic version may be added based on client's needs
- Theories of change:
- Intentionality via the Theory of Planned Behavior
- Success Sequence via Cognitive-Behavioral Theory
- Compassion via Empathy Model of Altruism
- Intentionality via Planning
- Avoidance of Coercive Relationships
- Core messages:
- Knowing yourself
- Forming & maintaining healthy relationships
- Your love life is not neutral
- Red flags – expect respect
- Effective communication and conflict management skills
- Decide don't slide – Making a plan for pacing and timing physical intimacy
- Unplanned pregnancy and relationship turbulence "through the eyes of a child"
- How the order of school, work, commitment, and babies impacts your future
Love Notes EBP directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:
- Risk of teen pregnancy, faulty relationship beliefs, intimate partner violence, family instability, inability to connect with others
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:
This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: Each lesson in Love Notes includes a Trusted Adult Connection activity that the young person completes with the trusted adult of their choice (which may be their parent, someone else in their family of origin, or another trusted adult).
At minimum, 12 hours of instruction over 2 days or in one- to two-hour increments to accommodate the needs of the presenting organization and their clients
Two days (6 hours a day) to four months (1 hour per week)
This program is typically conducted in a(n):
- Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider
- Justice Setting (Juvenile Detention, Jail, Prison, Courtroom, etc.)
- Public Child Welfare Agency (Dept. of Social Services, etc.)
- School Setting (Including: Day Care, Day Treatment Programs, etc.)
- Shelter (Domestic Violence, Homeless, etc.)
Love Notes EBP includes a homework component:
Each lesson contains a Trusted Adult Connection section for the participant to complete beyond class time. It involves a conversation with a trusted adult about some component of that lesson. In some settings, the instructor is the trusted adult and the activity is completed in class.
Love Notes EBP has materials available in a language other than English:
For information on which materials are available in this language, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).
Resources Needed to Run Program
The typical resources for implementing the program are:
- Lap top and projector to show PowerPoints and play music
- Connection to Internet during group instruction or ability to download videos off of YouTube before group instruction
- Art supplies
- Tables and chairs so that youth can easily create art projects
- Love Notes EBP trained instructor (ideally two instructors a male and a female)
- One Love Notes EBP manual per instructor, which includes a PowerPoint slide deck with videos links, instructor notes for fidelity, activity cards, student handouts, and one set of student materials
- Participant workbooks and Colors Personality Sorters for each young person
Manuals and Training
Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications
There are no minimum education requirements. Past experience working with youth or a demonstrated ability to do so in current work is required.
There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.
Pearson, M.E. (2020). Love Notes: Relationship skills for love, life, and work; evidence based program model supplement. The Dibble Institute. https://www.dibbleinstitute.org/store/love-notes-ebp/
The manual is available online to purchase in print or as a digital copy.
There is training available for this program.
- Rachel Savasuk-Luxton, Director of Research and Training
phone: (800) 695-7975
Training is provided to closed or open organizations in a virtual format.
Number of days/hours:
5 days for 3.5 hours each
Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research
Barbee, A. P., Cunningham, M. R., van Zyl, M. A., Antle, B. F., & Langley, C. N. (2016). Impact of two adolescent pregnancy prevention interventions on risky sexual behavior: A three-arm cluster randomized control trial. American Journal of Public Health, 106, S85–S90. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2016.303429
Type of Study:
Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 1448
- Age — 14-19 years
- Race/Ethnicity — 89% Non-Hispanic Black, 7% non-Hispanic White, and 4% Hispanic
- Gender — 60% Female
- Status — Participants were youth at faith-based agencies, community centers, child welfare-serving social service agencies, and resource centers located in low-performing schools in the parts of Louisville with the highest poverty rates and minority youths.
Location/Institution: 23 community-based organizations in Louisville Kentucky
(To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
This purpose of this study is to test the efficacy of Reducing the Risk (RTR) and Love Notes (LN) [now called Love Notes EBP] on reducing risky sexual behavior among youths yet to experience or cause a pregnancy. Measures utilized include demographic questionnaire and questionnaire about sexual activity. Results indicate at 3 and 6 months, compared with the control condition, youths in RTR reported fewer sexual partners and greater use of birth control. At 6 months, LN participants reported greater use of birth control and condoms, fewer sexual partners, and were less likely to have ever had sex compared with the control condition. Limitations include lack of reliable and valid measures, nongeneralizability due to ethnic population of participants, and length of follow-up.
Length of controlled postintervention follow-up: 3 and 6 months.
Dibble Institute. (2021). Effectiveness of healthy relationship interventions on teen pregnancy rates [Issue Brief]. https://www.dibbleinstitute.org/wp-new/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Dibble-Love-Notes-Issue-Brief-6.21.21.pdf
Kerpelman, J. (2010). The YouthBuild USA evaluation study of Love Notes....Making relationships work for young adults and young parents. https://www.dibbleinstitute.org/Documents/YBUSA-Love-Notes-Evaluation-report-2010.pdf
Office of Adolescent Health. (2016). The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio—UT Teen Health (2010–2015). OAH Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program: Spotlighting Success. https://opa.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/2020-07/spotlighting-success-utsa.pdf
- Kay Reed
- Agency/Affiliation: The Dibble Institute
- Website: www.dibbleinstitute.org/our-programs/love-notes-ebp
- Email: KayReed@DibbleInstitute.org
- Phone: (510) 812-6238
Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: September 2017
Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: February 2021
Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: August 2018