What research says about effective family life and sex education programs:
Since the early 1980’s a considerable body of scientific research related to the effectiveness of family life and sex education programs has been amassed. As of this writing there is general consensus on key factors with regard to the effectiveness of programs.
1. Parent-child connectedness is the most important factor in promoting the healthy well-being of children and adolescents. Parent-child connectedness is defined as a strong, close relationship characterized by the child or adolescent’s perception that the parent is caring, approachable, credible and respected.
Family Honor programs provide the opportunity and skill practice that enables parents and children to strengthen this parent-child connectedness.
2. Authoritative parenting (highly caring and supportive with moderate supervision and control) has been demonstrated to have a more positive outcome for children and adolescents than authoritarian parenting (high control, low warmth and caring) or permissive parenting (low control, neglectful, over-indulgent).
Family Honor programs provide information for parents on effective parenting and models an authoritative approach.
3. Communication of clearly defined, abstinent values by parents and other adults who are connected to the child is more likely to result in the adolescent and young adult adopting the same beliefs, values and attitudes as their own.
Family Honor programs encourage, equip and empower parents to more clearly define their own beliefs and values and provide opportunities and skill practice for parents to communicate those beliefs and values.
4. The peer group is a positive influence when their beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors are congruent with the beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors of the individual and his or her family.
Family Honor programs provide an opportunity for a community of families connected by a faith community or school to receive the same message and support one another in living out those beliefs and values.
5. Adolescents who viewed themselves as religious, were affiliated with a religion and prayed frequently promote the healthy well-being of the adolescent.
Family Honor programs support the spiritual well-being and faith formation of young people by providing information and the opportunity to strengthen the religious beliefs and faith life of the family.
6. Adolescents who are future oriented and who believe they have a reasonable expectation of attaining their future goals are more likely to choose positive behaviors that lead to those goals and less likely to engage in harmful behaviors.
Family Honor programs support young people in identifying a positive future orientation and provide the opportunity for parents and their children to identify future goals.
7. Adolescents who have made a public or written pledge to remain a virgin until marriage are at lower risk for early sexual debut.
Family Honor programs incorporate a commitment to chastity and promote the positive spiritual, physical and psychological benefits for a person living a chaste life.
8. Effective teachers are philosophically congruent with the message they are teaching and have had adequate training in program delivery.
Family Honor is the only organization in the nation that requires a three credit hour college course and 120 hour internship as preparation to become a Family Honor program presenter. In addition Family Honor recruits presenters who whole-heartedly believe and live the message they are teaching and who sign our Code of Ethics.
Research Conducted on Family Honor Programs:
"Given the large body of compelling evidence that argues so clearly in favor of parental involvement, parent training and education, and the promoting of parental responsibility, there is a striking deficiency of effort to engage and empower parents to more effectively fulfill their role as the sexuality educators of their children. Many parents have been led to believe that this responsibility is one that could better be fulfilled by schools or other agencies, in spite of evidence to the contrary. The Family Honor program is a rare exception to the prevailing currents, and offers parents a place, a method, and practical tools designed to equip and empower them to fulfill this particular parental role.”
Stan Weed, Ph.D.
Report to the Sisters of Charity Foundation
December 29, 1999
- Albert, B. (2004). With one voice 2004: America’s Adults Sound Off About Teen Pregnancy. Washington, DC: National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
- Commission on Children at Risk. (2003). Hardwired to Connect: A New Scientific Case for Authoritative Communities. New York, NY: Institute for American Values.
- Hendricks, K., Thickstun, P. Khurshid, A., Malhotra, S., & Thiele, H. (2006). The Attack on Abstinence Education: Fact or Fallacy? Austin, TX: Medical Institute for Sexual Health.
- Kirby, D. (2003). Putting What Works to Work. Washington, DC: National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
- Miller, B. (1998). Families Matter: A research synthesis of family influences on adolescent pregnancy. Washington, DC: National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
- Resnick, M.D., Bearman, P.S., Blum, R.W., Bauman, K.E., Harris, K.M., Jones, J., et al. (1997). Protecting Adolescents from Harm: Findings from the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health. Journal of the American Medical Association, 278 (10), 823-832.
- Stanton, B.F., & Burns, J. (2003). Sustaining and Broadening Intervention Effects: Social Norms, core values and parents. In D. Romer (Ed.), Reducing Adolescent Risk: Toward and Integrated Approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
- Weed. S. (1999). Family Honor Evaluation: Report to Family Honor, Inc. and Sisters of Charity Foundation. Salt Lake City, UT: Institute for Research and Evaluation.