The effects of preteen dating have not been well studied, largely because "dating" before 13 used to mean only going on group dates or "going out" without going anywhere.
These days, though, tweens are acting more like teenagers, making one-on-one tween dating more common.
Adolescents in romantic relationships tend to have more mood issues than single adolescents.
First, mood swings tend to be more severe for tweens and teens in relationships than their peers.
Secondly, symptoms of depression are more common among dating adolescents than among those who are not dating.
Depressive symptoms are especially likely to occur surrounding break-ups.
In fact, among adolescents who develop major depressive disorder, a break-up is the most common event that sets off the disorder.
Adolescents in romantic relationships report having more conflict in their lives than do their single peers.
These conflicts occur both within the relationship and surrounding the relationship.
Adolescents often have disagreements with parents over their dating behaviors.
Friends may also become upset about the amount of time that is being spent with a significant other.