Teenagers who do NOT have a date have better social skills and are less depressed, study suggests
- Researchers surveyed around 600 students between grades six and 12
- Teenagers who had no date indicated less often that they felt sad or hopeless than their peers dating
- The students' teachers rated those who had no relationship as better leadership and social skills
Teenagers who postpone dating have better social skills and are less depressed than their peers, according to a new study.
High and middle school students who did not have a date were more likely to be rated higher in social and leadership skills by their teachers.
They were also less likely to feel symptoms of depression or to feel sad and hopeless than teenagers in relationships.
The team, from the University of Georgia (UGA), says the findings show that teen health programs should include & nbsp; sections on non-dating and promoting is just as healthy and acceptable as a choice.
A new study from the University of Georgia has shown that teenagers who don't have a date are less likely to report feelings of hopelessness and sadness than those who date (date image)
& # 39; The majority of teenagers have had a kind of romantic experience at the age of 15 to 17 years, or middle adolescence & # 39 ;, said lead author Brooke Douglas, a PhD student in health promotion at UGA & # 39; s College of Public Health.
& # 39; This high frequency has led some researchers to suggest that dating during the teenage years is a normative behavior. That is, adolescents who have a romantic relationship therefore & # 39; on time & # 39; are considered in their psychological development. & # 39;
A 2015 Pew Research Center poll discovered that 35 percent of teenagers between 13 and 17 years have some experience with dating or relationships, while 18 percent said they currently had a relationship.
American teenagers have less sex and fall from around 48 percent in 2007 to 39.5 percent in 2017, according to one report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Researchers attribute this to sex education programs that help teenagers postpone sex until they age, use condoms and birth control when they have sex and reduce the number of sexual partners.
However, if dating is normative behavior, the team wanted to know what the implications were for teenagers who chose not to date.
& # 39; Does this mean that teenagers who don't date are in some way inappropriate? That they are social misfits? & # 39; Douglas said.
& # 39; Few studies have examined the characteristics of young people who do not go out during the teenage years, and we decided that we wanted to learn more. & # 39;
For the study, published in The Journal of School Health, the team interviewed nearly 600 students in Northeast Georgia and followed them from groups 6 to 12.
Every year, the teenagers answered questions about whether they had had a relationship, relationships with family and friends, and whether they experienced symptoms of depression.
Dating was broadly defined as spending time with or going out with someone for more than a month.
Teenagers 'teachers were also asked to complete questionnaires about students' social and leadership skills.
Researchers focused on 10th graders who rarely or never went out with each other compared to their colleagues who date more often and discovered that those groups reported positive relationships.
But the students who do not date were rated higher by their teachers in social and leadership skills than teenagers who date.
They also reported less often that they were sad or felt hopeless compared to their colleagues in romantic relationships.
& # 39; Although the study refutes the idea of non-daters as social misfits, it also calls for health-promoting interventions in schools and elsewhere to include non-dating as an option for normal, healthy development, & # 39; said Douglas.
& # 39; As public health professionals, we can better confirm that adolescents have the freedom to choose whether or not they want to date, and that both options are acceptable and healthy, & she said.
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