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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

May 21, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Survey of Seattle students finds many risky behaviors on the decline

Results of state and federal surveys that asked Seattle middle- and high-school students about health and risky behaviors were released today, showing that physical activity is up, television watching is down, and so is the use of alcohol and tobacco.

The surveys are given every two years.

The state’s Healthy Youth Survey is given to students in grades 6, 8, 10 and 12 and asks questions about gangs, exercise, suicide, sex, bullying, and the use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco. The federal survey is given to high school students and focuses on many of the same subjects, particularly on behaviors that could cause unintentional injuries and violence.

In a news release, Seattle Public Schools highlighted the following results:

 – The percentage of eighth-grade students who engage in 60-plus minutes of physical activity five or more days per week increased from 34 percent in 2008 to 49 percent in 2012.

 – Television watching declined among both middle and high school students. In the 2012 survey, 25 percent of eighth-graders said they watched three or more hours of TV on an average school day; in 2006, that number was 37 percent. The rate of TV viewing among high school students dropped from 28 percent in 2008 to 19 percent in 2012.

 – Rates of being bullied in the past month has declined among 6th grade students, from 26 percent in 2008 to 22 percent in 2012.

 – Alcohol and cigarette use among high school students … has declined during the past four years, while marijuana use remains statistically unchanged.

 – Among students who drank alcohol during the past 30 days and who have a usual type of alcohol that they drink, 60 percent reported that hard liquor was their drink of choice.

 – Preliminary data analysis shows that among students who report using marijuana in the past month, 39% of them reported that the marijuana came from a medical marijuana dispensary.”

The school district says both surveys are voluntary and anonymous. and that parents had the right to ask that their children not participate.

To see the full survey: http://tinyurl.com/studenthealthsurveys

 

Comments | More in Education | Topics: healthy youth survey, Seattle Public Schools, Youth Risk Behavior Survey

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