Bannière FSH Laboratoire de recherche de Martine Hébert
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Youths’ Romantic Relationships (YRR)

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The Youths’ Romantic Relationships (YRR) Survey is led
by the Team on Interpersonal Traumas funded
by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

The survey is divided into four main studies:

  • Study I (investigators: M. Hébert, M. Blais and F. Lavoie) is a longitudinal study of a representative sample of over 8000 high school youth 14-18 years.
    Thirty-four (34) high schools throughout the province of Quebec participated in the study. The first two waves of data collection took place in class and the remaining waves via an online questionnaire. This study aims to document the prevalence of dating violence among youth as well as the associated risk and resilience factors.
  • Study II involves an analysis of risk and protective factors related to interpersonal violence in two vulnerable populations.

    Study IIa (investigators: M. Hébert, J.-Y. Frappier and M. Cyr) is a longitudinal study among adolescents victims of sexual abuse aged 14-18 years. Recruitment of participants takes place in a hospital center and specialized community organizations offering support services for adolescent victims of sexual abuse 14-18 years of age.

    Study IIb (investigators: M. Blais and M. Hébert) is conducted among sexual minority youth 14-22 years old. Participants were recruited using advertisements on Facebook targeting sexual minority youth, several community organizations (email lists, banners, etc.) and college and university student associations in Quebec. In addition to questions on dating violence, the questionnaire evaluates various forms of violence and discrimination (bullying based on sexual orientation,
    etc.) and specific challenges for sexual minority youth (coming out, parental attitude towards homosexuality, etc.) and their effects on their psychological well-being.

  • Study III (investigators: M. Fernet, M. Hébert, A. Karelis and S. Boucher) investigates couple interactions among adolescent and young adults in order to document their romantic pathways as well as their conflict resolution strategies by using both partners’ perspectives. This research component also aims to study certain physiological indicators such as stress levels (cortisol) that can be related to victimization experiences. To achieve this, the research team met roughly a hundred couples, regardless of sexual orientation, aged 14 to 21, who did not cohabit or have any children. Data collection was carried out in the Laboratoire d’études sur la violence et la sexualité at the Université du Québec à Montréal.
  • Study IV focuses primarily on developing prevention tools on dating violence and the promotion of harmonious and egalitarian relationships. In this context, focus groups conducted with youth will identify their needs and obtain feedback regarding the results of the YRR survey. These data will provide relevant information to develop tools, particularly for our partners in school settings. This research component will influence the elaboration of intervention strategies aimed at improving existing prevention programs and promoting satisfactory and equal romantic relationships.



Findings from the YRR Survey have led to the development of educational and preventive strategies to address this important societal problem. In partnership with various local and regional organizations, the team has developed awareness tools for youth, as well as teachers and professionals working with adolescent clienteles. These tools are designed to promote harmonious and egalitarian relationships and are all available in the Dissemination Tools tab.

The survey highlights are disseminated on social networks through a social media awareness campaign conducted in partnership with the Table de concertation en violence conjugale de Montréal (TCVCM). To date, this campaign has reached over 139,500 people. Follow the PAJ Survey on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to be on the lookout for publications highlighting key messages from the survey. Follow the YRR Survey on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to be on the lookout for new posts presenting results and key messages of the survey. For more information, consult the Social Media Campaign tab.



The Team on Interpersonal Traumas is composed of an interdisciplinary group of researchers from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), the Université de Montréal (UdeM), the Université Laval and the CHU Ste-Justine, and of partners from the Direction de la santé publique de Montréal, Parents-Unis Repentigny Lanaudière, the Centre d’intervention en abus sexuel pour la famille, Entraide Jeunesse Québec, Tel-Jeunes and Ministère de l’Éducation, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche.


Martine Hébert, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator
Département de sexologie, UQAM

Martin Blais, Ph.D.
Département de sexologie, UQAM

Sophie Boucher, Ph.D.
Département de sexologie, UQAM

Mireille Cyr, Ph.D.
Département de psychologie, UdeM

Mylène Fernet, Ph.D.
Département de sexologie, UQAM

Jean-Yves Frappier, MD., FRCP
Département de pédiatrie, UdeM
Sections de médecine de l'adolescence et de pédiatrie sociale, CHU Sainte-Justine

Antony Karelis, Ph.D.
Département de kinanthropologie, UQAM

Francine Lavoie, Ph.D.
École de psychologie, Université Laval


Gabriel Boisvert
Acting Director-general
Conseil québécois LGBT

Louise Bourassa
Quality services director
Centre jeunesse de la Mauricie et du Centre-du-Québec (CJMCQ)

Simon Drolet
Centre d'intervention en abus sexuel pour la famille (CIASF)

Marie Eve Girard
Entraide Jeunesse

Hertel Huard Jr.

Félix Joyal Lacerte
Youth worker

Julie Laforest
Scientific advisor, violence prevention
Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec (INSPQ)

Danielle Marquis
Responsible for the violence in school portfolio
Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur

Lysandre Ouimet
Parents-Unis Repentigny Lanaudière (PURL)

Julie Pelletier
Responsable for the Sex education and Prevention/Promotion portfolio
Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur

Annie Tremblay

Pierre H. Tremblay
Medical advisor
Direction de santé publique de l’ASSS de Montréal

In collaboration with Joanne Otis, département de sexologie, UQAM



Catherine Moreau, M.A.
YRR project coordinator
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(514) 987-3000 ext. 8722