How Avoiding Teenage Romance Can Lead To Better Social Skills

Researchers at the University of Georgia have concluded that students who stay single while in school may develop better social skills and have better mental health than their peers who choose to date. As it turns out, those without much of a romantic history may not be socially awkward after all.

They studied nearly six-hundred tenth-graders before attaining their conclusion. Experts are now saying that “schools should promote being single as a viable option of healthy development among adolescents”.

During the research, four distinct dating trajectories were determined for students between the sixth grade and twelfth grade: low, increasing, high middle school, and frequent. The groups were then compared using teacher ratings and student questionnaires. The data concluded that students who remained single showed better or equal results in terms of social skills and mental health than those who were in relationships.

Couple sharing a couch with their third wheel


The study was published in the Journal of School Health, a resource aimed for use by professionals, educators, and mentors to facilitate the healthy development of students. The purpose of the publication can be summarized with the following,

“The Journal of School Health (JOSH) is committed to communicating information regarding the role of schools, school personnel, or the school environment in facilitating optimal growth and development of children and youth. The focus on children and youth PreK-12th grade encompasses a wide variety of areas including health education; physical education; health services; nutrition services; counseling, psychological, and social services; healthful school environment; health promotion for staff; family/community involvement, and others.”

At the conclusion of the studies, lead author Brooke Douglas of the University of Georgia stated,

“In the end, school health educators, mental health professionals, and teachers should affirm social norms that support adolescents’ individual freedom to decide whether to date or not, indicating that both are acceptable and healthy options.”

The results of this research may be controversial since there are people who claim their grade school experiences were lonely due to lack of dating. Promiscuous people in college “making up for lost time” is nothing new either, which can bring questions such as exactly how healthy is a singleton’s mental health?

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