Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dating in middle school leads to higher dropout, drug-use rates, study suggests

Date:
March 15, 2013
Source:
University of Georgia
Summary:
Students who date in middle school have significantly worse study skills, are four times more likely to drop out of school and report twice as much alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use than their single classmates, according to new research.

Students who date in middle school have significantly worse study skills, are four times more likely to drop out of school and report twice as much alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use than their single classmates, according to new research from the University of Georgia.

"Romantic relationships are a hallmark of adolescence, but very few studies have examined how adolescents differ in the development of these relationships," said Pamela Orpinas, study author and professor in the College of Public Health and head of the Department of Health Promotion and Behavior.

Orpinas followed a group of 624 students over a seven-year period from sixth to 12th grade. Each year, the group completed a survey indicating whether they had dated and reported the frequency of different behaviors, including the use of drugs and alcohol. Their teachers completed questionnaires about the students' academic efforts. The Healthy Teens Longitudinal Study included schools from six school districts in northeast Georgia. Investigators used two indicators of students' school success: high school dropout rates and yearly teacher-rated study skills. The results of the study were recently published in the Journal of Research on Adolescence.

"In our study, we found four distinct trajectories," Orpinas said. "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. Other students dated infrequently in middle school but increased the frequency of dating in high school. We also saw a large number of students who reported dating since sixth grade."

Of the early daters, a large portion of the study group-38 percent-reported dating at almost all measurement points throughout the study. The second at-risk segment, identified as "high middle school dating," represented 22 percent of the sample. One hundred percent of these students dated in sixth grade.

"At all points in time, 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," according to the journal article.

Study skills refer to behaviors that lead to academic success such as doing work for extra credit, being well organized, finishing homework, working hard and reading assigned chapters.

"A likely explanation for the worse educational performance of early daters is that these adolescents start dating early as part of an overall pattern of high-risk behaviors," Orpinas said.

Children in these early dating groups were also twice as likely to use alcohol and drugs.

"Dating a classmate may have the same emotional complications of dating a co-worker," Orpinas said. "When the couple splits, they have to continue to see each other in class and perhaps witness the ex-partner dating someone else. It is reasonable to think this scenario could be linked to depression and divert attention from studying."

Authors indicated that more research is needed to identify characteristics that distinguish dating as a healthy developmental process from dating as part of a problem behavior syndrome.

Orpinas says this study suggests, "dating should not be considered a rite of passage in middle school."

Co-authors are Arthur M. Horne, Xiao Song, Patricia M. Reeves and Hsien-Lin Hsieh.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Georgia. The original article was written by April Reese Sorrow. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Pamela Orpinas, Arthur M. Horne, Xiao Song, Patricia M. Reeves, Hsien-Lin Hsieh. Dating Trajectories From Middle to High School: Association With Academic Performance and Drug Use. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 2013; DOI: 10.1111/jora.12029

Cite This Page:

University of Georgia. "Dating in middle school leads to higher dropout, drug-use rates, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130315151046.htm>.
University of Georgia. (2013, March 15). Dating in middle school leads to higher dropout, drug-use rates, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130315151046.htm
University of Georgia. "Dating in middle school leads to higher dropout, drug-use rates, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130315151046.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) It’s an unusual condition with a colorful name. Kids with “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome see sudden distortions in objects they’re looking at or their own bodies appear to change size, a lot like the main character in the Lewis Carroll story. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Scientists have long called choline a “brain booster” essential for human development. Not only does it aid in memory and learning, researchers now believe choline could help prevent mental illness. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive brain cancer in humans. Now a new treatment using the patient’s own tumor could help slow down its progression and help patients live longer. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins