Tags: Health Topics | Depression | teens | dating | depression

Teens Who Don't Date Are Less Depressed, Study Finds

A group of teenagers
A group of teenagers (Vadimgozhda/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 10 September 2019 12:58 PM

Dating is a normal part of growing up. Researchers have long believed that relationships could help teenagers develop their self-identity and grow emotionally while also learning about other people.

However, a new study found that teens who don't date could actually be less depressed and may even have better social skills. A team from the University of Georgia has gone so far as to suggest that not dating could be more beneficial for teenagers.

The idea for the study came to lead author Brooke Douglas while she was wondering whether teens who were not romantically involved with anyone were viewed as social outcasts.

"The majority of teens have had some type of romantic experience by 15 to 17 years of age, or middle adolescence," Douglas said in a statement. Researchers have said that this is normative behavior, but what does that imply to those who are not involved in romantic relationships?

"Does this mean that teens that don't date are maladjusted in some way? That they are social misfits?" Douglas questioned. She decided to find out.

Douglas teamed up with study co-author Pamela Orpinas to conduct a review of 10th-grade students who had little to no dating experience in a seven-year period.

The idea was to establish whether or not there were any notable differences in emotional and social skills to other teens who dated more frequently.

What they found was that the teens who were not romantically involved in relationships had better social and leadership skills and were less likely to be depressed.

Orpinas said the findings proved that not dating was just as much a healthy part of development among teenagers as dating was. The results shatter the notion that these teens were social misfits and also highlighted a need for schools to intervene and promote non-dating as normal and healthy among teens, Douglas added.

"As public health professionals, we can do a better job of affirming that adolescents do have the individual freedom to choose whether they want to date or not, and that either option is acceptable and healthy," she said.

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Dating is a normal part of growing up, but a new study found that teens who don't date could actually be less depressed and may even have better social skills.
teens, dating, depression
346
2019-58-10
Tuesday, 10 September 2019 12:58 PM
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