Wednesday, February 1, 2012

DEPARTMENT RELEASES 2011 YOUTH RISK BEHAVIOR SURVEY

The Idaho State Department of Education released the results of the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey today, showing improvement in several areas including physical violence.

“We are pleased to see less physical violence among students across Idaho,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna said. “However, we still see some areas of concern including the use of illegal substances and the number of students considering suicide. We must work to solve these problems in our schools and communities. No student is free to learn until they are free from intimidation and fear.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) to survey behaviors among youth related to the leading causes of mortality and morbidity among both youth and adults and to assess how these risk behaviors change over time.

The YRBS measures behaviors that fall into six behavior categories that result in: (1) unintentional and intentional injuries; (2) tobacco use; (3) alcohol and other drug use; (4) sexual behaviors that result in HIV infection, other sexually transmitted diseases, and unintended pregnancies; (5) dietary behaviors; and (6) physical activity.

The 2011 Idaho YRBS was administered to more than 1,700 students in 48 randomly selected public high schools in Idaho during Spring 2011.

Here are some of the highlights of the 2011 YRBS results in Idaho:

• The percentage of students who were in a physical fight one or more times during the past 12 months decreased from 29 percent in 2009 to 26.4 percent in 2011.

• The percentage of students who were ever hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend during the past 12 months decreased from 10.6 percent in 2009 to 8.7 percent in 2011.

• The percentage of students who used methamphetamines one or more times during their life remained about flat at 3.2 percent in 2011, compared to 3.1 percent in 2009. This is a significant decrease from 6.4 percent in 2007.

• The percentage of students who seriously considered attempting suicide during the past 12 months increased from 14.2 percent in 2009 to 15.4 percent in 2011.

• The percentage of students who used marijuana one or more times during the past 30 days increased from 13.7 percent in 2009 to 18.8 percent in 2011.

To view the full results of the 2011 YRBS, visit http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/csh/ and click on the “Resources/Data” tab near the bottom of the page.

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