CDC study on Adolescene Risk Behavior

The latest statistics on teenagers paint a rosy portrait of American teens. They’re drinking, smoking and bullying less than they used to, and fewer are getting pregnant.

“Adolescence is an inherently risky time,” says Dr. Stephanie Zaza, the director of the U.S. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) division of adolescent and school health. “They are stretching their wings. We can’t eliminate all risk, but we are seeing overall good trends in all areas.”

Here’s a snapshot on teen behavior, based on recent reports:

  • BullyingRecent data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics showed bullying at school was on the decline. Bullying among kids ages 12 to 18 dropped to 22% in 2013. The rate is lower than the 28-32% that was reported in all other survey years since 2005. Even cyberbullying—the use of electronic services to harass someone—has dropped. Only 6.9% of students reported being cyberbullied in 2013 compared to 9% in 2011.

    The study also shows that LGBT youth which have been often targeted have found increasing acceptance and major policy changes regarding same-sex marriage in the news, social norms regarding sexuality may be changing too, and that may contribute to less fighting. 
  • SmokingTeens are smoking less, too. In the last CDC National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), which analyzes health risk behaviors among high school students, revealed that the high school smoking rate had dropped to 15.7%, the lowest recorded level since the survey started in 1991. It meant that the CDC had met its goal of lowering the adolescent smoking rate to under 16% by 2020, several years early.'

    Changes that might have had a significant impact on smoking include widespread health initiatives and big changes in social norms around smoking. Although the that data from the CDC also stated that while fewer high schools are smoking fewer cigarettes, e-cigarette use tripled among middle and high schoolers in just one year.
  • Drinking - The study also revealed that  alcohol use has dropped, it's still at a high of 35%. 
  • Texting While Driving - Teens who text and drive is at an all time high of 41%
  • Prescription Drugs - 18% of teens who report using prescription drugs without a prescriptions
Although the study is based upon multiple studies which are weaved together they begin to ain't a picture on as to which types of risk taking behaviors place youth at greater risk. Parents should take this into consideration when evaluating issues surrounding behavior.

Download the entire  Bullying CDC Report
Read the E-cigarette Press Release


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