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HHS HealthBeat (April 16, 2013)

Early dating, worse results

HHS HealthBeat: Mother talking to daughter.

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Talk about Dating

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Dating in middle school may be not so much fun in the long run.

A study indicates kids who date in middle school have worse study skills, more substance abuse and more likelihood to drop out of high school than kids who don’t date. Researcher Pamela Orpinas of the University of Georgia saw that in seven years of data on 624 northeast Georgia students, starting in sixth grade.

Orpinas advises parents to keep their lines of communication open to kids:

“Tell your children that dating is not a rite of passage. Many kids do not date in middle school. They can wait. Wait a little bit; wait until high school.”

The study in the Journal of Research on Adolescence was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: April 17, 2013