Questions on Family Relations


I have been asked by a Carson-Newman University student to help with his Bonner Senior Capstone project. For this project, he is wanting to create an in-depth booklet on whether a family relations/parenting class should be required of high school students. He is looking for research on this topic. Are there classes like this required of high school students anywhere? Is anyone familiar with research studies on family relations/parenting classes for high school students?

Thank you in advance for your help and time!

Melissa LaGraff

3 Comments to “Questions on Family Relations”
  1. Yes, there are classes offered through the high school FACS (Family and Consumer Sciences) programs in many states, including Arkansas. I moderate a listserv for these teachers and if your students wants to send a survey or questionaire to these teachers, I would be happy to facilitate that.

    Your student might also want to look at some of the published reports from the Dibble Institute and Institute for American Values, etc.

    Would love to hear the results of his study.

    Beth Wilson

  2. Our nonprofit – Education for Successful Parenting (ESP) – has developed a curriculum for high school students, and we’ve been teaching it as a workshop in health education classrooms since 2005. The curriculum meets national standards for health education and support common core curriculum. The program is called “Healthy Foundations for Future Families.”

    National standards and most state standards for secondary school health education now require some family health information. Other than our own course, we have not seen other curriculum for “pre-parenting education” (that’s the term we are using). Some programs, like the RealityWorks “Baby Think It Over” program use simulated infants to create a realistic experience of caring for an infant, with the goal of discouraging teen pregnancy and preventing shaken baby syndrome. Our program takes a big picture perspective of the role of parenting, and the resources needed to raise a child until adulthood.

    A few years ago I heard that the State of New York Dept of Education was recommending a full semester of pre-parenting education prior to high school graduation, but I don’t believe it has been ever required. I believe I have some information about the standards if the student needs it.

    There is also a very informative website Prepare Tomorrow’s Parents which advocates for pre-parenting education.

    Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any further assistance.


  3. Hi Melissa!

    You might want to contact Child Builders out of Houston. They offer a K-12 parenting education curriculum called, “Parents Under Construction,” and I’m pretty sure they have evaluation data on it.