• November 2018
  • Vol. 19, No. 9

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CDC Report Looks at Past Decade of Trends for Risky Youth Health Behaviors

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report assesses behavioral health trends of high school students across the country that pose serious risks to their health and well-being.

The report provides data from the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, routinely undertaken by CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health. The report breaks down data from the past decade by gender, by race, and for sexual minority youth. The survey focuses on the health behaviors and experiences in priority areas for CDC (i.e., those that contribute to sexually transmitted infections, unintended teen pregnancies, and adolescent morbidity)—sexual behavior, substance use, violence victimization, and mental health and suicide.

The following are examples of finding from the report:

  • The percentage of high school students who ever had sexual intercourse declined from 47.8 percent in 2007 to 39.5 percent in 2017.
  • The percentage of high school students who used a condom during their last sexual intercourse declined from 61.5 percent in 2007 to 53.8 percent in 2017.
  • The percentage of high school students who ever used select illicit drugs declined from 22.6 percent in 2007 to 14.0 percent in 2017.
  • The percentage of high school students who experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness increased from 28.5 percent in 2007 to 31.5 percent in 2017.
  • The percentage of high school students who seriously considered attempting suicide increased from 14.5 percent in 2007 to 17.2 percent in 2017.

Youth Risk Behavior Survey: Data Summary & Trends Report 2007–2017 is available at https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/yrbs/pdf/trendsreport.pdf (1,670 KB).
 

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