The RELAX Intervention
RELAX is an 8 week, 90 minute group-based intervention for adolescents and their families, that seeks to equip adolescents with coping, communication, and conflict management skills. Additionally, it provides parents with tools to help support their adolescents' use of these skills in daily life.
RELAX was piloted with 18 families in Spring 2019 and was found to result in large improvements in adolescent emotion regulation (i.e., managing negative emotions like anger, sadness, frustration) and communication, and reductions in family conflict. Additionally, parents made large improvements in their ability to support their adolescents during conflict discussions and in their own emotion dysregulation. Results from this pilot study are published in Breaux & Langberg, 2020 in Evidence-Based Practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
Adolescents and their parents will learn effective coping skills to help manage negative emotions like frustration, sadness, anger, and worry. Additionally, parents will learn how to respond to their adolescents' negative emotions in a way that will foster better emotion regulation development.
Adolescents will learn how to be an effective listener, who they can share their emotions with and when, how to communicate in an assertive but not aggressive manner, and the social problem-solving skills necessary for successful communication with peers, parents, and teachers.
Conflict Management Skills
RELAX will discuss why conflicts are so common during adolescence, the different ways to respond during conflict, and when different response patterns are helpful versus harmful. Adolescents and parents will have the opportunity to problem-solve through current conflicts in the adolescents' lives.