Background: There is considerable literature on effective engagement strategies for recruiting adolescents individually for health research studies, but literature on recruiting adolescent couples is new and minimal. Purpose: This paper describes the recruitment strategies used for Teen Connections (TC), a longitudinal study that recruited 139 mainly African American and Latino adolescent couples in romantic relationships living in New York City. Methods: We collected data in Microsoft Access and documented the date each recruitment strategy was implemented, date each partner was enrolled, and amount of effort required to enroll participants. We identified individual and relationship characteristics from each partner’s baseline survey. Results: We found that relationship type and characteristics, language used in printed materials, parental consent, implementing a screener questionnaire and gender of partner had implications for enrollment in TC. Discussion: Couples studies are highly demanding but achievable with dedicated staff and access to a large number of youth. Translation to Health Education Practice: Research on sexual health and risk often relies on individual reports of dyadic events. Adolescent couples’ studies may not be pursued because of recruitment limitations, but they can provide invaluable insight into relationship dynamics, characteristics, etc. that may help design better health education interventions, and should be pursued nonetheless.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health