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Results From the Massachusetts Youth Health Survey

Results From the Massachusetts Youth Health Survey

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Published by: MassLive2 on Jun 08, 2012
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03/31/2014

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Middle School Students

Academic Performance

• Overall, 3% of middle school students reported receiving mostly D’s or F’s for grades in the past year.

Substance Abuse

• Hispanic students were twice as likely as White students to have used alcohol in their lifetime (35% vs. 17%).
• Students were more likely to report lifetime alcohol use if they believed most people their age also drank alcohol
(45% vs. 12%).

Nutrition, Physical Activity and Weight

• Overall, middle school students were more likely than high school students to report eating three or more servings
of fruits or vegetables on the day prior to the survey (67% vs. 58%).
• Just over half of middle school students (53%) reported drinking one to two sugar-sweetened beverages on the

previous day.

Disability and Chronic Conditions

•••• Black and Hispanic students were more likely than White students to report that they had asthma (28%, 26% vs.

17%).

Personal Safety

•••• Students who received grades of mostly D’s and F’s were over five times more likely to report never or rarely
wearing a seatbelt than students who received grades of mostly A’s, B’s, and C’s (31% vs. 6%).

Violence-Related Behaviors and Experiences

•••• Female students were twice as likely as male students to report being a victim of cyber-bullying (19% vs. 9%).

Mental Health and Suicide

• Hispanic students were more likely to have seriously considered suicide than White students (14% vs. 5%).

High School Students

Academic Performance

• Overall, 7% of high school students reported receiving mostly D’s or F’s for grades in the past year.
• Black (11%) and Hispanic (13%) students were more likely than White (5%) students to receive mostly D’s or F’s
for grades in the past year.

Substance Abuse

• Students were more likely to report lifetime alcohol use if they believed most people their age also drank alcohol
(76% vs. 30%).
• White (15%) students were more likely to report current cigarette smoking than Black (7%) and Hispanic (9%)

students.

• Males were six times more likely than high school females to report use of smokeless tobacco (22% vs. 3%).
• More students report current use of marijuana than current use of cigarettes (27% vs. 13%).

Nutrition, Physical Activity and Weight

• Just over half of students (54%) reported drinking one to two sugar-sweetened beverages on the previous day.
• Males were twice as likely as females to be obese (14% vs. 7%); however, no gender difference was seen in those
who were overweight (15% vs. 14%). Both overweight and obese defined by BMI percentiles for age and sex.

Disability and Chronic Conditions

•••• Hispanic students were more likely than White students to report that they had asthma (31% vs. 23%).

Personal Safety

•••• Male students participating in sports were more likely than females participating in sports to report they had
experienced symptoms of a sports-related traumatic brain injury in the past year (24% vs. 18%).

Violence-Related Behaviors and Experiences

• White students were more likely to be victims of cyber-bullying than Hispanic students (17% vs. 12%).

Mental Health and Suicide

•••• White females (9%) were the least likely to consider suicide compared to Black (17%), Hispanic (17%), and
Other/Multiracial (17%) females.

Sexual Behavior

• Just over half of students (55%) reported that they had never had sexual intercourse.

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DEMOGRAPHICS

All respondents were asked to indicate (1) what grade they were in (2) how old they were (3) their gender (4) if
they were Hispanic or Latino and (5) what their race was, with the option of choosing more than one race.
Response options for race included American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Black or African American,
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander and White. Race categories were subsequently collapsed into White
non-Hispanic, Black non-Hispanic, Hispanic, Other non-Hispanic which included American Indian or Alaskan
Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander and Multiracial non-Hispanic. See Appendix 2
questions 1-3 and 6-7, Appendix 3 questions 1-3 and 6-7, and Appendix 4 questions 1-5 for the exact wording
of these questions.

Presented here are the percentages of middle and high school students by sex, grade and race.

The combined high school sample was used to present the high school demographic characteristics.

Table 1: Demographic Characteristics of Massachusetts Youth, YHS + YRBS 2011
Middle School

High School a

N

%

95% CI

N

%

95% CI

Overall

3554

100.0

5371

100.0

Sex

Male

1779

51.0

49.2 - 52.8

2717

50.8

49.1 - 52.5

Female

1693

49.0

47.2 - 50.8

2620

49.2

47.5 - 50.9

Grade

6th

grade

1108

33.1

25.7 - 40.5

7th

grade

1199

33.7

28.3 - 39.0

8th

grade

1224

33.2

27.3 - 39.1

9th

grade

1330

26.9

22.9 - 30.9

10th

grade

1355

25.3

21.2 - 29.5

11th

grade

1283

24.4

20.5 - 28.3

12th

grade

1360

23.4

19.2 - 27.5

Race/Ethnicity*

White

2222

69.0

63.0 - 75.0

3600

70.1

65.0 - 75.1

Black

212

8.2

5.4 - 10.9

354

8.8

6.6 - 11.0

Hispanic

481

15.2

11.4 - 18.9

770

13.9

10.5 - 17.3

Other

242

4.7

3.4 - 6.0

321

4.5

3.3 - 5.6

Multiracial

146

2.9

2.4 - 3.5

215

2.8

2.4 - 3.2
* Students were allowed to indicate multiple race categories. White, Black, Other and Multiracial categories refer to non-
Hispanic. If Hispanic/Latino was indicated as an ethnic identification, the student was categorized as Hispanic/Latino
regardless of race category. The Other category includes American Indian or Alaska Natives, Asian, Hawaiian or Pacific
Islander. The Multiracial category includes youth who indicated more than one race but did not identify as Hispanic/Latino.
The most common Multiracial combinations among middle school students were, White and American Indian or Alaska
Natives (35%), White and Asian (23%), and White and Black (16%). The most common combinations among high school
students were White and Black (26%), White and American Indian or Alaska Natives (26%), and White and Asian (17%).
(a) Combined sample MYHS + MYRBS.

Middle School
•••• The Other category included 45 American Indian or Alaska Natives, 184 Asian, and 13 Hawaiian or
Pacific Islander students.
High School
•••• The Other category included 34 American Indian or Alaska Natives, 254 Asian, and 33 Hawaiian or
Pacific Islander students.

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