The Fourth R

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The Fourth R: Skills for Youth Relationships Health Program is a curriculum for 7th- to 9th-grade students that is designed to promote healthy and safe behaviors related to dating, bullying, sexuality, and substance use. Based on social learning theory and grounded in stages of social development, the Fourth R focuses on improving students' relationships with peers and dating partners and avoiding symptomatic problem behaviors (e.g., violence, aggression).

Goal: The Fourth R consists of a comprehensive school-based program designed to include students, teachers, parents, and the community in reducing violence and risk behaviors.

Designed to engage participants on the individual and relationship levels of the social ecology, the Fourth R is a comprehensive approach to prevention of unhealthy relationship behaviors and promotes pro-social behaviors among peers and dating partners. Three evaluations of the Fourth R have been conducted in Canada, two new evaluations are underway, and another evaluation is being conducted in the United States. The Fourth R has been adapted for use with Canadian Aboriginal populations (e.g., First Nations, Métis, Inuit), Catholic school students, and students in alternative education settings. The program has also been adapted for use with Alaskan Native populations. The program materials have been translated into French, Portuguese, Flemish, and Spanish. The Fourth R also have linked content to school expectations, making it desirable and attractive for teachers to implement in the classroom.


Available materials include DVDs, CD-ROMs, laminated resources, and detailed manuals. Lessons are sequenced and include objectives, learning strategies, and presentation material. Role-playing is used for practicing skills. The Master Trainer Manual includes a training agenda, copies of training slides with detailed notes, model role-play scripts, research, and background information. On-site trainings for teachers and master trainers are offered; trainings include an opportunity for participants to provide feedback to each other during role-play scenarios and to the trainer via a feedback form. A fidelity checklist for each component, a student satisfaction survey, and a teacher implementation questionnaire are available to support quality assurance. For information about the cost of purchasing material and implementation visit the website at

Capacity and Readiness: It is highly recommended that practitioners conduct a Community Readiness Assessment and that a level of Preplanning, Preparation or higher be present before implementation. Also, in person training or online training is recommended before launching the program.

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