Researchers classify early dating as a component of the same "high-risk behavior" that will later lead these kids to drugs and alcohol at a younger age than others.
Researchers also speculate that the subsequent in-class weirdness following a breakup lends itself to poor academics.
UGA's research, drawn from following a group of 624 students over a seven-year period from sixth to 12th grade, found that kids who began dating in middle school had worse study skills, were four times more likely to drop out of school and reported twice as much alcohol, tobacco and weed use than their single counterparts.
Of the kids studied, 38 percent reported dating at each point of the survey, and 22 percent at "high middle school." Rather amazingly, 100 percent of these kids were dating in sixth grade. That's why it's amazing.)At each point in time, teachers rated the students who were dating as worse academically than those who weren't.
The two periods are the Pre-OMG period, and the Aftermath period.* Periods and Stages in order Pre-OMG period/ the period where everyone knows whats about too happen (someone asking the other person out). Honeymoon Stage/ the stage where the boy/girl hangs out with the boy/girl.
I'm not saying that we should encourage all fifth-graders to date, but I wouldn't discourage it either.
While I may not consider this 'real' dating, it helped me learn how to form relationships.
This gave me experience outside of what was displayed in pop-culture at the time.
When I was in middle school, it seemed like everyone around me was in a relationship.
Looking back now, especially since my siblings are getting to this age, I can't help but scoff at how ridiculous we must have looked.