Dating in Middle School is Linked to Drop Out and Drug Use
A study in the Journal of Research on Adolescence has found that children who date in middle school are four times more likely to drop out of school. They are also twice as likely to use tobacco and marijuana than their classmates that remain single. Romantic relationships are a part of growing up, but few studies have looked at adolescents’ development relating to relationships.
In the study they found some students never or hardly ever reported dating from middle to high school, and these students had consistently the best study skills according to their teachers. Teachers rated the students who reported the lowest frequency of dating as having the best study skills and the students with the highest dating as having the worst study skills.
Students in these early dating groups were also twice as likely to use alcohol and drugs. It is also suspected that the lack of development and the expectation of these relationships to succeed or fail lead to depression and divert attention from studying. According to the researcher, more research is needed to identify characteristics that distinguish dating as a healthy developmental process from dating as part of a syndrome of problem behaviors.
It is suggested that by refraining from dating at such a young age will help these children make the right choices in life. They are less likely to drug and drug at a younger age, and would likely have a better chance avoiding peer pressure as they grow up
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