Those who dated the most were shooting toward disaster: they were four times more likely to drop out of high school and reported twice as much substance abuse as those who were dating less.
Others dated all the time—or at least that’s what they reported.
And others reported dating all the time in sixth grade, and then decreased, and then increased again.” And the significance of these trajectories?
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“If you have a high-risk taker as an eighth grader, you’re going to need to impose certain sanctions, provide alternative opportunities for healthy risk taking, and work with school and other parents to help your adolescent to learn how to assess risk in a healthier way.” But perhaps the most interesting and unnerving aspect to early dating is that it is no longer perceived as something that is relatively private.
Teens are not simply going through a worse version of the gossip an adult might face during a breakup.According to a government study, victims often fear school, that 'somebody might hurt them' at school, and consider school to be an unsafe and unhappy place.As many as 7% of America's eighth graders stay home at least once a month because of bullies.“We see four trajectories,” says Pamela Orpinas, a professor of behavioral research at the University of Georgia and the lead author of the study, which included 600 students.“Some kids never or hardly ever dated; some kids did not date during middle school and started dating during high school.But unlike substance abuse and depression—the two other horsemen of a teenage apocalypse—dating and grades are easier to spot and easier for parents to talk to their kids about.