Reducing Rural Young Adult Health Disparities through an Adaptive Mobile Relationship Intervention

See proposal abstract

Principal Investigator: James Kale Monk, University of Missouri

Co-Principal Investigator: Amber Vennum, Kansas State University; Elaine Johannes, Kansas State University

Proposal Abstract:

Due to the impact of intimate relationship quality and stability on mental and physical health, child outcomes, and the economy, the government instituted policy initiatives promoting healthy marriage through relationship education (RE). Many scholars recommend implementing RE with young adults given that early relationship dynamics while dating strongly predict later marital and health outcomes as individuals begin to focus on long-term committed unions during this key developmental period. Current RE initiatives are impaired by both limited resources to implement face-to-face classes, especially in rural areas, and the need for more adaptable, personalized content dissemination. The rapid development of mobile technologies provides opportunities for gathering information and delivering health interventions in real-time in rural areas. Indeed, 65% of rural Americans own smartphones and many young adults use their smartphones to seek health information and relationship advice online. Unfortunately, the information available online is often anecdotal and maladaptive. Thus, along with the assistance of an interdisciplinary team of scholars, clinicians, educators, and software engineers (i.e., “Relevate”), we seek to respond to these limitations by providing a relationship-specific, individually tailored platform (i.e., “MyRelevate”) to share evidence-based curricula and content with the public. In order to equip Extension professionals with the tools needed to help rural young adults make healthy relationship and well-being decisions, we are requesting $24,690 in financial support to finalize the development of the platform, create additional content, train Extension professionals in how to use MyRelevate, and support future grant submissions.

Award: $24,690.00

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