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Wyman’s Teen Connection Project

Program Description: Wyman’s Teen Connection Project is an experience-based group intervention designed to positively change social connections among high school aged youth. Delivered in school- and community-based settings, the 12-week program aims to gradually improve ongoing peer relationships and ultimately enhance academic engagement and psychosocial functioning.

The program includes twelve 45-60-minute lessons facilitated weekly by two trained adults to groups of five to 15 youth participants. Facilitators guide discussions and provide a safe source of support while modeling appropriate levels of self-disclosure for youth in discussions. The curriculum is organized in three phases: establishing buy-in and a safe peer context, developing/enhancing a sense of social belonging, and consolidating relationships. The program concludes with a strengths approach, which is aimed to further solidify the relationships formed during the sessions and leave students with the secure base of a positive self-narrative to establish and maintain connections with their peers.

Results: Blueprints has certified one study evaluating Wyman’s Teen Connection Project. Allen et al. (2020) randomly assigned 610 students from four high schools to an intervention group (n=322) or a health class as usual control group (n=288). Students reported on peer relationships and depressive symptoms at pretest, posttest, and four-month follow-up. At posttest, compared with students in the control group, program students displayed higher levels of comfort with classmates in both conditions. Further, four-month follow-up results indicated that program students displayed higher levels of comfort with classmates, were rated as more approachable by students in the control group, and had lower levels of depressive symptoms.

Characteristics of Study Sample as Reported by Study Authors:

Cost-Benefits: To date, the Washington State Institute for Public Policy has not conducted a cost-benefit analysis of implementing Wyman’s Teen Connection Project.


Allen, J. P., Narr, R. K., Nagel, A. G., Costello, M. A., & Guskin, K. (2020). The Connection Project: Changing the peer environment to improve outcomes for marginalized adolescents. Development and Psychopathology, 1-11. doi:10.1017/S0954579419001731

Read the Program Fact Sheet


Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development
University of Colorado Boulder
Institute of Behavioral Science
UCB 483, Boulder, CO 80309


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Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development is
currently funded by Arnold Ventures (formerly the Laura and John Arnold Foundation) and historically has received funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.