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"Some students never or hardly ever reported dating from middle to high school, and these students had consistently the best study skills according to their teachers.

Other students dated infrequently in middle school but increased the frequency of dating in high school.

The Healthy Teens Longitudinal Study included schools from six school districts in northeast Georgia.

Investigators used two indicators of students' school success: high school dropout rates and yearly teacher-rated study skills.

"Romantic relationships are a hallmark of adolescence, but very few studies have examined how adolescents differ in the development of these relationships," said Pamela Orpinas, study author and professor in the College of Public Health and head of the Department of Health Promotion and Behavior.

Orpinas followed a group of 624 students over a seven-year period from sixth to 12th grade.

Their teachers completed questionnaires about the students' academic efforts.“Last year my friends and I developed a little thing we called Mon-dates where we would try a new restaurant downtown for lunch every Monday. “There is a culture here that students like to destress and let loose. I believe the culture of partying is very accepted amongst the students here. A lot of students get in trouble for abusing their new-found freedom.By the middle of the semester we had tried so many new places and couldn’t believe how much we had been missing out on,” said junior Andrew Williams. During weekdays students try to prioritize parties with things that they are doing,” said junior Khala Nelson. “For the most part I see people get in trouble for…underage drinking, use of drugs, being too loud, etc [in the dorms]."When the couple splits, they have to continue to see each other in class and perhaps witness the ex-partner dating someone else.It is reasonable to think this scenario could be linked to depression and divert attention from studying." Authors indicated that more research is needed to identify characteristics that distinguish dating as a healthy developmental process from dating as part of a problem behavior syndrome. Adolescents who use both marijuana and alcohol during middle school and high school are more likely to have poor academic performance and mental health during high school, according to a new study ...One hundred percent of these students dated in sixth grade.

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