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Pepperdine | Boone Center for the Family

Why Young Adults


Relationship IQ specifically targets ages 16-28 because in these years people decide who they will be and make decisions that affect their entire life and future generations.

Relationships are hard. Reaching a certain age doesn't necessarily mean a person is able to create and sustain vibrant relationships. Relationships take work, intentionality, skills, and knowledge about people. Our society has not been particularly good at equipping young people to maintain healthy relationships. Young adults are hurting relationally and need guidance.

Young adults are in a specific stage of life that makes relationship education particularly potent. Today's young adults are simultaneously experiencing two of Erik Erikson's psycho-social stages of development - identity formation and intimate relationship formation. While they are still in the adolescent phase of trying to figure out who they are, they also ascertaining if they can be successful in romantic relationships. When romantic relationships go poorly, they risk slipping back into a "regressive and hostile reliving of the identity conflict" (E.H. Erikson & J.M. Erikson, The Life Cycle Completed (New York: Columbia Press, 2008), 71). How often have you seen a broken relationship rip away a young adults' confidence and sense of self?

While figuring out who they are and if they can be successful in romantic relationships, they are also differentiating from their family of origin. As they figure out who they are separate from their parents, parents advice tends to overwhelm them. This process of differentiating from family often involves a separation from God as well. Many young adults will pull away from God in this stage because their view of God is so strongly tied to their relationship with their parents. They hold God at a distance as they try to decide what they believe or put their relationship with God on hold. At a time when young adults are making significant life decision and desperately need advice, they can find it extremely difficult to receive advice, suggestions, or even questions from their parents and might have a hard time connecting with God. Young adults need people to come alongside them and help them learn to navigate adult relationships and see God's desire to be in relationship with them.

Relationship IQ is able to provided needed information about healthy relationships at a critical time in young adult development. rIQ helps young adults form relationships with trusted mentors. rIQ opens doors to conversations about God. The young adult years set life's course. How successful they are relationally greatly impacts their faith, their family, and their career. Relationship IQ focuses on young adults because the need and opportunity for transformation are immense.

"Some of my relationships have been in a bad place for awhile. This class came at the perfect time to learn how to heal those relationships and start over again."
— rIQ participant

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