Higher Drop Out and Drug Abuse seem to be the biggest correlation.
Many of us had crushes in middle school and a "boyfriend" or "girlfriend". But the Jr. High "Dating World" has gotten more serious with more serious consequences.
Discuss this information with your child. Tell your child he/she is not allowed to date while in middle school. You can't stop what they do at school but you can help to deter "dating".
Behavioral Research at University of Georgia/Dr. Pamela Orpinas:
Orpinas followed 624 students over 7 years. "At all points in time, teachers rated the students who reported the lowest frequency of dating as having the best study skills and the students with the highest dating as having the worst study skills.
Middle School kids who "dated' were four times more likely to drop out of high school and reported twice as much substance abuse as those who were dating less. The earlier you start the worst are the likely results.
Adolescents who start dating seems to be part of an overall pattern of high-risk behaviors. Including drug use, skipping school, teenage sex, pregnancy, and STD's.
Author of The Sex Lives of Teenagers/Lynn Ponton-University of California SF: Risk taking behaviors in adolescents cluster. Early onset dating is an important clue as to wheterh or not a child might be a high risk taker, particularly if accompanied by poor grades.
Perhaps the newest aspect of middle school dating is social media announces it to their world and increases the potential pain and drama.
Courtesy: Dr. Matthew Clark, www.theclarkinstitute.com