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It's early but time flies so I'm doing my homework now!  Kate (the Gator) Ettl turns 11 in three months. A blink later and she'll be 15 and I'm getting ready to head into the "dating daughter protective dad mode."

I will not be a permissive parent -- and it's nice to know I have science on my side!

According to a report in EurkeAlert , a new study has found that teens who don't date are less depressed and have better social skills.  Bingo!

University of Georgia researchers published their findings in the Journal of School Health.  One question looked at was the significance of a majority of teens having had some type of romantic experience by 15 to 17 years of age. SInce so many teens have had such experiences, is 15 to 17 the normal developmental time frame for such things, and if so, to what impact?

Researchers studied whether the emotional and social skills of 10th graders who reported no or very infrequent dating were better off compared to their more frequently dating peers.

The study looked a kids from Northeast Georgia over a seven year period with students reporting each spring if they had dated, and reported on a number of social and emotional factors, including positive relationships with friends, at home, and at school, symptoms of depression, and suicidal thoughts.

Their teachers completed questionnaires rating each student's behavior in areas that included social skills, leadership skills and levels of depression.  Guess which group scored best?  Sorry Kate, you can date when you're 30, right now you a great project ahead of you called "Operation Kate - The Best That I Can Be!"

So don't even think about it!