BOSTON (CBS) — If your teen isn’t showing interest in dating, don’t worry. That’s probably not such a bad thing.

A new study from the University of Georgia finds that teens who don’t date tend to be less depressed.

Most teens have had some type of romantic experience by the time they’re 15 to 17 years of age and many people believe that dating during adolescence is important for a child’s emotional and social growth.

But researchers say not so fast. They examined data on kids from 6th through 12th grade and found that non-dating students had similar or better interpersonal skills than those who dated more frequently and that teachers rated non-dating students significantly higher in terms of social and leadership skills.

Non-daters also were less likely to be depressed.

That’s not to say dating is bad, but researchers say not dating doesn’t make a teen a social misfit and that both dating and not dating should be considered acceptable and healthy options for teens.

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