You’re more likely to be an alcoholic if you had a relationship at 16
If you want to stay sane, stay single
Having a girlfriend or boyfriend when you were 16 means you’re more likely to be an alcoholic or depressed, according to a new study.
Scientists reckon teenagers in love are more likely to have psychological problems than their mates who stay single.
A recent study released by the University of Denver followed 200 teenagers for nine years and found those in a relationship were more likely to experience anxiety, depression and even alcoholism.
This may come as a shock to many teenage lovers, who at the time thought a boyfriend or girlfriend was the answer to all of their problems.
The study also highlighted how young people who involve themselves in a relationship when they are a couple of years older are less likely end up depressed.
The University of Denver also argues that the quality of the relationship is the most defining factor in terms of teenagers and their mental health.
The patients were asked to complete questionnaires over this time period that enquired after their relationship status and whether they ever, for example, felt aggressive or the desire to withdraw socially.
Lead author of the study Charlene Collibee said: “We have found relationships that were more supportive and satisfying, and those that had fewer negative interactions were associated with better psychosocial adjustment, above and beyond the effects of simply being in a relationship.”
Co-author Professor Wyndol Furman added: “Our findings highlight the importance of romantic characteristics across the development and tell us we should be concerned not just with whether an adolescent or young adult has a romantic relationship but also with the quality of that relationship.
“They also suggest promoting high-quality romantic relationships in adolescences – and especially young adulthood – may foster more positive psychosocial development.”
He said teenagers and students should be encouraged to look at whether they are in supportive and satisfying relationships because of the important impact it had on their health and well-being.