Many of the health indicators for middle and high schools students in Duval County are improving, according to the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey results released April 3 by the Florida Department of Health — Duval County and Duval County Public Schools. Bullying and suicide rates were up, while other indicators around sexual behaviors, nutrition and emotional health improved. For most indicators, however, the county still fares worse than state and national rates.
The survey monitors six types of health-risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death and disability among youth and adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention administers the national and state surveys and oversees the local surveys. Duval County is one of 22 local sites that participate in the YRBS, completing the surveys in 2009, 2011 and 2013.
Key takeaways from the 2013 results include:
- Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs. Tobacco use down in all health zones. Teens at Beaches drinking at high rate, stagnant rate in urban core
- Sexual Behavior. Condom use increased among high school students, but one third of sexually active youth are still not using condoms.
- Sexual Behavior. The survey now asks if youth have been tested for #HIV. 17 percent of high school students said yes.
- Sexual Behavior. Decreases in ever and currently sexually active, sex before 13, ever had oral sex among high school students
- Violence, Suicide & Safety Behavior. 1 in 4 middle school youth has considered suicide.
- Violence, Suicide & Safety Behavior. Females in Middle school experience depression at a higher rate than males
- Violence, Suicide & Safety Behavior. Health zone 1 has highest rate of teens that have attempted suicide.
- Chronic Diseases. Asthma on the rise in youth. Comprehensive management plans needed.