Wyman’s Teen Connection Project (TCP)

About This Program

Target Population: Adolescents in grades 9-12

For children/adolescents ages: 14 – 17

Program Overview

Wyman’s Teen Connection Project (TCP) focuses on building social connections among high school age youth. The program consists of two trained adults facilitating 12 TCP curriculum lessons in weekly 45–60-minute group meetings of no greater than 15 participants. Lessons include team building exercises, interactive activities, participant sharing, and peer discussions. Throughout the program, participants explore social connection, including barriers to connection. The aim is for them to develop positive and supportive relationships with one another. TCP is premised on several key factors: 1) the social experiences and social and emotional skills of adolescents are incredibly strong mediators of their academic and life outcomes; 2) adolescence is one of the most socially focused stages of the lifespan as teens are biologically and developmentally wired to learn to manage peer relationships; and 3) adolescent peer experiences are ripe for change and can lead to powerful social and emotional learning and enhanced life outcomes.

Program Goals

The goals of Wyman’s Teen Connection Project (TCP) are:

  • Strengthen connections to others.
  • Support development of a positive sense of self.
  • Improve social, emotional, and life skills.
  • Improve health, well-being, and academic-related outcomes.
  • Decrease risky behavior.

Logic Model

View the Logic Model for Wyman’s Teen Connection Project (TCP).

Essential Components

The essential components of Wyman’s Teen Connection Project (TCP) include:

  • Number of Teens: TCP Groups enroll no fewer than 6 and no more than 15 teens.
  • Weekly TCP Group meetings: TCP groups meet weekly across a program cycle.
  • TCP Curriculum: All 12 lessons from the curriculum are delivered in sequential order:
    • Lesson 1: Introduction to the Teen Connection Project
      • Goal: Increase understanding of the Teen Connection Project (TCP); Begin developing relationships with facilitators and peers.
    • Lesson 2: Creating Our Group Culture
      • Goal: Create group guidelines to develop feelings of safety and comfort in TCP; Explore why connections are important.
    • Lesson 3: Exploring Masks
      • Goal: Explore how masks can be a barrier to connecting with others.
    • Lesson 4: Conflict and Communication
      • Goal: Explore how communication styles and responses to conflict can be a barrier to connecting with others.
    • Lesson 5: Establishing Trust
      • Goal: Explore trust and how it impacts connections with others.
    • Lesson 6: If You Really Knew Me
      • Goal: Explore being vulnerable with peers by sharing something personal in a safe, anonymous space.
    • Lesson 7: You Are Not Alone
      • Goal: Understand and explore that everyone faces challenges; Reduce stigma around experiencing challenges.
    • Lesson 8: #YouMatter
      • Goal: Explore positive recognition and appreciation of others.
    • Lesson 9: You Don’t Know My Story
      • Goal: Share challenging experiences with one another; Explore how these experiences can influence who we are.
    • Lesson 10: The Struggle is Real
      • Goal: Identify emotions experienced during challenging situations; Explore coping strategies.
    • Lesson 11: Seeing Our Strengths
      • Goal: Explore each other’s strengths; Share and receive positive feedback.
    • Lesson 12: Reflecting on TCP and Looking to the Future
      • Goal: Reflect on the TCP experience; Explore ways to continue intentional positive connections with others.
  • Adult Facilitation: TCP Group meetings are facilitated by 2 facilitators who have completed Wyman’s TCP Training of Facilitators (TOF).
  • A Quality Assurance Plan is developed and utilized to guide the monitoring of fidelity and quality.

Program Delivery

Child/Adolescent Services

Wyman’s Teen Connection Project (TCP) directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

  • Social isolation, poor peer relationships, poor school engagement, poor social and emotional skills

Recommended Intensity:

One weekly 45–60-minute session

Recommended Duration:

12–14 weeks

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider
  • School Setting (Including: Day Care, Day Treatment Programs, etc.)

Homework

This program does not include a homework component.

Languages

Wyman’s Teen Connection Project (TCP) has materials available in a language other than English:

Spanish

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:

A private, dedicated room/space for holding group meetings; internet access both for utilizing online resources including Wyman Connect (Wyman’s proprietary online data management system); and to access additional resources like chart paper, markers, handouts, etc. that are used to enhance meeting activities.

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

There is no minimum educational level required before attending TCP Training of Facilitators. However, previous experience facilitating youth programming is recommended. Adults who facilitate TCP must be trained through completion of the 2.5-day TCP Training of Facilitators.

The TCP Coordinator (the person assuming responsibility for overall TCP implementation) completes a 5-day Training of Trainers.

Manual Information

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Program Manual(s)

Information on manuals:

  • Wyman Center. (2020). TCP curriculum. Author.
  • Wyman Center. (2021). TCP training and facilitation guide. Author.
  • Wyman Center. (2021). TCP training of trainers manual. Author.

Program and training materials can be accessed through the program contact listed below.

Training Information

There is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training Type/Location:

Once an organization applies to become a Replication Partner, the organization identifies its coordinator (the person assuming responsibility for overall implementation of TCP), who completes a 5-day TCP Training of Trainers module. This equips the coordinator to train others in their organization or network to facilitate TCP and ensures their full understanding of the program fidelity standards and processes. The coordinator then trains TCP facilitators (those who directly implement the program with teens) through a 2.5-day TCP Training of Facilitators. Trainings of Trainers are held by Wyman trainers in St. Louis, Missouri, typically on a quarterly basis. A Training of Trainers may also be conducted at a Replication Partner site with sufficient trainee enrollment.

Number of days/hours:

2.5 days for a total of 20 hours for TCP Training of Facilitators; 5 days for a total of 40 hours for TCP Training of Trainers

Implementation Information

Pre-Implementation Materials

There are pre-implementation materials to measure organizational or provider readiness for Wyman’s Teen Connection Project (TCP) as listed below:

Wyman has a process that includes an initial consultation regarding organizational readiness to adopt and implement TCP. Please contact the program contact at the bottom of this entry for more information.

Formal Support for Implementation

There is formal support available for implementation of Wyman’s Teen Connection Project (TCP) as listed below:

TCP is replicated through an established Replication Partner process managed by Wyman’s National Network team, designed to help partners provide TCP within their communities. Through this process, Wyman maintains an ongoing training, technical assistance, and network support relationship with partners. TCP Replication Partners receive one-on-one support and technical assistance from a member of Wyman’s National Network team, as well as access to supplemental trainings, webinars, Wyman Connect (Wyman’s proprietary online data management system), and other resources to support partners in their replication of TCP. At least annually, Wyman’s National Network team conducts a review of each partner’s fidelity data and meets with them to discuss implementation successes and challenges.

Fidelity Measures

There are fidelity measures for Wyman’s Teen Connection Project (TCP) as listed below:

Fidelity data (see TCP Logic Model for program core components) are tracked by those who are implementing TCP with teens. Implementation data, including group meeting dates, teen attendance, and curriculum lessons delivered, are entered into Wyman Connect (Wyman’s proprietary online data management system). Wyman Connect provides a dashboard and reports to enable partners’ ongoing fidelity monitoring and quality improvement activities. The TCP Observation & Feedback Form is also provided as a resource to support regular review of the quality of TCP implementation. Observers rate the use of high-quality facilitation strategies and teen engagement on a rubric and use the results for quality improvement.

Implementation Guides or Manuals

There are implementation guides or manuals for Wyman’s Teen Connection Project (TCP) as listed below:

Replication Partners implementing TCP receive several manuals and guides that support program implementation and evaluation:

  • TCP Coordinator Planning Tool
  • TCP Coordinator Planning and Delivery Cycle
  • TCP Training & Facilitation Guide
  • TCP Evaluation Guide
  • TCP Observation Guide

They also received the TCP Curriculum, as well as a Training of Trainers (TOT) binder that includes all materials necessary for implementing a TCP Training of Facilitators. Please contact the program contact at the bottom of this entry for more information.

Implementation Cost

There are no studies of the costs of Wyman’s Teen Connection Project (TCP).

Research on How to Implement the Program

Research has not been conducted on how to implement Wyman’s Teen Connection Project (TCP).

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Child Welfare Outcome: Child/Family Well-Being

Allen, J. P., Narr, R. K., Nagel, A. G., Costello, M. A., & Guskin, K. (2020). The Connection Project: Changing the peer environment to improve outcomes for marginalized adolescents. Development and Psychopathology, 33(2), 647–657. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954579419001731

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 610

Population:

  • Age — Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — 362 African American, 106 White, 61 Multi-Ethnic, 55 Hispanic/Latino, 20 Other, and 6 Asian American
  • Gender — 311 Female, 295 Male, and 4 Unidentified
  • Status — Participants were adolescents primarily from economically or racially/ethnically marginalized groups.

Location/Institution: Districts in the greater metropolitan area of a midwestern state

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of the study was to examine the impact of the Connection Project [now called Wyman’s Teen Connection Project (TCP)] as implemented in secondary schools serving primarily socioeconomically and racially/ethnically marginalized youth. Participants were randomized into Connection Project (intervention) or the standard school health curriculum content (control group). Measures utilized include the Self-Report Coping Scale, the Child Depression Inventory, and a 10-item scale that students reported on their classroom academic engagement that tapped student effort, attention, and persistence while initiating and participating in learning activities. Results indicate that at program completion, Connection Project participants reported significantly increased quality of peer relationships; by 4-month follow-up, this increased quality was also observable by peers outside of the Connection Project, and Connection Project participants also displayed higher levels of academic engagement and lower levels of depressive symptoms. These latter effects appear to have potentially been mediated via participants’ increased use of social support. Limitations include findings were modest in magnitude and replication is clearly warranted prior to generalizing these findings to other populations or settings; significant attrition existed at both time points; outcome measures relied upon adolescent self-report; and length of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 4 months.

Additional References

Proctor E., Silmere, H., Raghavan, R., Hovmand, P., Aarons, G., Bunger, A., Griffey, R., & Hensley, M. (2011). Outcomes for implementation research: Conceptual distinctions, measurement challenges, and research agenda. Administration and Policy in Mental Health, 38(2), 65–76. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10488-010-0319-7

Curran, G. M., Bauer, M., Mittman, B., Pyne, J. M., & Stetler, C. (2012). Effectiveness-implementation hybrid designs: Combining elements of clinical effectiveness and implementation research to enhance public health impact. Medical Care, 50(3), 217–226. https://doi.org/10.1097/MLR.0b013e3182408812

Powell, B. J., Waltz, T. J., Chinman, M. J., Damschroder, L. J., Smith, J. L., Matthieu, M. M., Proctor, E. K., & Kirchner, J. E. (2015). A refined compilation of implementation strategies: Results from the Expert Recommendations for Implementation Change (ERIC) project. Implementation Science, 10(21), Article 21. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13012-015-0209-1

Contact Information

Tori Gale
Agency/Affiliation: Wyman
Website: www.wymancenter.org/programs
Email:
Phone: (314) 712-2368

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: August 2021

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: January 2022

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: December 2021