Middle school dating service
Dating is only one of many possible ways to develop self-esteem.
"Although it varies by group, girls especially tend to have their own guidelines and rules that tend to limit extensive sexual relationships," says Connolly.With this knowledge of the dating scene, why would anyone allow their tween to start dating?"Teenagers often wonder two things: how to date and what a healthy relationship is," says Jennifer Connolly, Ph D, Director of the La Marsh Centre for Research on Violence and Conflict Resolution at York University.UGA's research, drawn from following a group of 624 students over a seven-year period from sixth to 12th grade, found that kids who began dating in middle school had worse study skills, were four times more likely to drop out of school and reported twice as much alcohol, tobacco and weed use than their single counterparts.Of the kids studied, 38 percent reported dating at each point of the survey, and 22 percent at "high middle school." Rather amazingly, 100 percent of these kids were dating in sixth grade. That's why it's amazing.)At each point in time, teachers rated the students who were dating as worse academically than those who weren't."Dating can be exciting and high energy but [generally] kids tend to prevent each other from becoming too intimate in those situations." Despite the statistics, there are some adolescents who become "couples" and engage in "heavy activities" such as petting or actual intercourse.
These behaviors are not healthy at this age and carry both behavioural and physical risks, emphasizes Connolly.
Groups can offer a safe, protective way for kids to learn.
But at the same time, parents need to discuss not going too far too fast.
Researchers classify early dating as a component of the same "high-risk behavior" that will later lead these kids to drugs and alcohol at a younger age than others.
Researchers also speculate that the subsequent in-class weirdness following a breakup lends itself to poor academics."Dating a classmate may have the same emotional complications of dating a co-worker.
"But I didn't start dating until I was 18," says Mom. According to one survey, nearly half of teens between the ages of 11 to 14 years old are dating.