Love Notes EBP

About This Program

Target Population: Young people and young parents ages 14-25

For children/adolescents ages: 14 – 25

Program Overview

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

Program Goals

The goals of Love Notes EBP are:

  • Prevent pregnancy in young people, especially those at-risk for an unplanned pregnancy or who are already parenting, by building the skills and knowledge to make wise relationship and sexual choices
  • Prevent intimate partner violence with teens and young adults who are at risk for unstable and poor quality relationships
  • Empower young parents to prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in their children
  • Build assets and strengthen protective factors by appealing to young people’s aspirations, rather than merely emphasizing what they must avoid using a positive youth development approach
  • 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 their relationships
  • Assist young parents in slowing down the relationship-go-round, helping them improve and stabilize their current or future relationships, or making a decision to stay single and away from unstable or destructive relationships as they focus on their own development

Essential Components

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

Program Delivery

Child/Adolescent Services

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).

Recommended Intensity:

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

Recommended Duration:

Two days (6 hours a day) to four months (1 hour per week).

Delivery Settings

Not Specified


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 (see for list)
  • 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

Education 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.

Education and Training Resources

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program, and there is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training is obtained:

Training can either be provided onsite or at a regional setting.

Number of days/hours:

3 days

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(S1), S85-S90. doi: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

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, 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 postintervention follow-up: 3 and 6 months.

Additional References

Dibble Institute. (2016, October). Effectiveness of healthy relationship interventions on teen pregnancy rates, Issue Brief. Retrieved from

Kerpelman, J. (2010, July 12). The YouthBuild USA evaluation study of Love Notes....Making relationships work for young adults and young parents. Retrieved from

Office of Adolescent Health. (2016). Champs! —Creating Healthy Adolescents through Meaningful Prevention Services (2010-2015). OAH Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program: Spotlighting Success. Retrieved from

Contact Information

Kay Reed
Agency/Affiliation: The Dibble Institute
Phone: (510) 812-6238

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: September 2017

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: August 2018

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: August 2018