Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

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Healthy Relationships
Teaching about Love Dating and Friendships

One of the developmental tasks of adolescence is to gain experience and competence in building peer relationships, friendships and eventually romantic relationships.  Yet, at the same time, younger teens are struggling to discard their dependence on family and thus, find themselves pushing away from home before they have time to decipher the complexities of building new peer relationship. Many teens at this age lack the knowledge and skills needed to communicate the genuine caring or love they may feel for another person.  In addition, they may confuse their desire for loving, intimate experiences and seek out relationships that involve risky sexual behavior.  Educators must learn to address the importance of peer relationships to teens and equip them with the skills needed to recognize those that reflect unhealthy and healthy characteristics.

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