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U.S. News

Florida: Teens' Risky Behavior On Rise

May 24, 2005

A survey of 970 ninth-10th grade students conducted last fall in Manatee District high schools revealed an association between sexual risk-taking and alcohol and drug use, according to a preliminary analysis by a community teen pregnancy prevention group.

District Superintendent Roger Dearing authorized CDC's Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) to be conducted on a voluntary basis among students taking Life Management classes. Dearing's decision was supported by CEO Roundtable (CR), a group of representatives in government, law enforcement, health and social services, the judiciary, and the school district.

A preliminary analysis of survey data was offered to CR members Friday by Karen Stewart, chairperson of the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Task Force (TPPTF), the group CR appointed to cut Manatee's high teen pregnancy rates. Stewart said survey data supported task force assumptions that drinking, drugs and other high-risk activities are associated with teen pregnancy. Among survey findings:


  • Four of every 10 students reported having had sexual intercourse by tenth grade.

  • More than one-third of students surveyed have used marijuana, and 10 percent have used cocaine.

  • Nearly 25 percent had engaged in binge drinking -- consuming five or more drinks in one setting -- in the previous 30 days.

  • One of 10 students considered suicide in the previous year.

A more comprehensive YRBS analysis by Kelly McCormack of the University of South Florida will be presented to 700 local leaders at a June 1 community breakfast, said Stewart. The task force hopes that discussion at the forum will lead to an action plan for prevention efforts.

"We know the ideas of what to do to reduce teen pregnancy and risk behaviors are already out there in our community," said Stewart. "We know the resources already exist. We need to pull them together."

Back to other news for May 24, 2005

Adapted from:
Bradenton Herald
05.21.05; Donna Wright

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
More Statistics on Young People and HIV/AIDS in the U.S.