A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Georgia showed a link between middle school dating and substance use.
Researchers studied a group of 264 students over the course of seven years, starting from when they were in sixth grade. The students took a survey every year on dating, substance use, and other behaviors. The students’ dropout rates and skills were then studied when they entered high school.
The study showed that students who dated in middle school had worse study skills than their classmates who did not date. The study also found that middle school students who dated were four times more likely to drop out of school than single middle school students.
“Dating should not be considered a rite of passage in middle school,” study author Pamela Orpinas said.
The study has been published in the Journal of Research on Adolescence.
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