Skills for Youth: Refusal Skills

  Classroom Resource Information  


Skills for Youth: Refusal Skills


Content Source:

Type: Informational Material


The resource is informational material about refusal skills from the Resource Center for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention website. The purpose of refusal skills is to give youth the ability to say NO to unwanted sexual advances or risky situations. There are several essential components to an effective refusal or NO statement. Youth need to understand the components that make up an effective NO before they observe or practice the skills.

This alignment results from the ALEX Health/PE COS Resource Alignment Summit.

Content Standard(s):
Health Education
HE (2019)
Grade: 9-12
Health Education
HE.4.2) Demonstrate refusal, negotiation, and collaboration skills to enhance health and avoid or reduce health risks.

Health Education
HE (2019)
Grade: 9-12
Health Education
HE.5.2) Develop a thoughtful decision-making process in health-related situations.

a. Predict the potential short-term and long-term impact of various alternatives on self and others.

b. Identify warning signs of suicide in self and others and discuss effective coping skills.

c. Demonstrate refusal skills and explain when to use them in high risk situations.

Examples: Saying no to sex, alcohol, and other drugs

Tags: Health Education, Refusal Skills, Risk Behaviors, Saying No
License Type: Custom Permission Type
See Terms:
For full descriptions of license types and a guide to usage, visit :
Partnered Event: Health/PE COS Summit
AccessibilityText Resources: Content is organized under headings and subheadings

The resource provides additional information for educators on how to teach adolescents refusal skills with the following tips:

  • Circulate among the pairs or small groups and coach individuals as they practice, giving them tips for how to use the four components of the Refusal Skill.
  • Have youth use a checklist that outlines the four components so they can gently coach each other as they practice. 
  • Start with scripted role plays for practice so youth get used to using the words and non-verbal messages. As youth become comfortable, have them practice without scripts.
  • Debrief after each practice session identifying what went well and provide coaching around the stumbling blocks or barriers.
  • Connect the role plays to real life by making sure the situations and language used are relevant and realistic. Ask youth for feedback and make adjustments accordingly. The more they participate, the more they will learn and be able to apply the skill.
  This resource provided by:  
Author: Amber Ensley
The event this resource created for:Health/PE COS Summit