Teens are less depressed when they don't date, study finds

SAN ANTONIO – A new study from the University of Georgia found that teens were less depressed when they weren't involved in romantic relationships.

Researchers also discovered that students who didn't date had similar or better interpersonal skills than students who dated more frequently.

Brooke Douglas, a doctoral student at UGA, led the study, co-authored by Pamela Orpinas, which examined emotional and social skills of nearly 600 10th-grade high school students.

The researchers cross analyzed their findings with data from questionnaires given to students in a 2013 study led by Orpinas.

Questionnaires used teacher-given ratings for social skills, leadership and depression for students, while the students also self-reported depression, suicidal thoughts and positive relationships with friends.

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"While the scores of self-reported positive relationships with friends, at home, and at school did not differ between dating and non-dating peers, teachers rated the non-dating students significantly higher for social skills and leadership skills than their dating peers," according to an article published on UGA's website.

The study's results found the number of non-dating students who self-reported depression was significantly lower than students who dated. However, thoughts of suicide were reportedly no different.

The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control funded the study.

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