Teens Who Don't Date Are Less Depressed and Have Better Social Skills

Posted on September 10, 2019

By the time they reach 17 years old, most teens would have had some experience in romantic relationships. Such behavior is regarded as normal and is often taken as a sign of psychological development. What about individuals who do not enter romantic relationships during this period of development?

In order to investigate this, a study was conducted with 10th grade students who did not date or dated very infrequently over seven years. The study assessed their social and emotional capabilities and compared the results with those obtained from their peers who were more romantically involved.

Participants were asked to report their dating experiences, comment on the social and emotional aspects of their lives as well as any suicidal or depressive thoughts they might have. The teachers of participants were also asked to fill out questionnaires regarding the social skills of their students and evaluating their behaviors.

Results indicated that students who rarely dated had better social skills or social skills of the same level as their peers who dated more frequently. Teachers also rated dating peers lower for their leadership skills and social capabilities. Students who did not engage in any romantic relationships were also found to be less likely to be depressed.

As such, the psychological development of adolescents is not hindered by the lack of romantic experiences at all. Given the high proportion of individuals dating at this age, it is also important to reassure youths who are single that not having a romantic relationship is normal and healthy as well. Whether to date or not is ultimately the choice of the individual.

Category(s):Depression, Relationships & Marriage

Source material from Science Daily