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Sent on Mormon-News: 26Sep01

By Paul Carter

LDS High School Senior's Lifestyle Leads Trend

DENVER, COLORADO -- The example of Lindsey Searle, a senior at Ponderosa High School in Parker Colorado and a member of the Parker Colorado Stake, was presented in The Denver Post as representing a trend toward less risky behavior by today's teens.

Described by The Post as someone who "parties with the 'in' crowd" and "having a reputation among her peers", Lindsey clarifies just what that reputation is: "Everyone knows I'm the girl that doesn't drink. I've never drank, never smoked, never had sex." Lindsey also mentions that, "I'm fine with that. I don't puke at the end of the night."

The Denver Post article presents results from the 2001 Youth Risk Behavior Survey for Douglas County Colorado, where the town of Parker and Ponderosa High are located. The survey was first given in Douglas County in 1992. It was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and is offered every three years throughout the United States.

Results from this past Spring, when 1,497 juniors participated in the Douglas County Schools, suggest that high school students are choosing more and more to avoid unhealthy behaviors. The survey is voluntary, which could affect the accuracy of responses, and asks questions regarding use of drugs, tobacco, alcohol, weapons and fighting, sexual activity, suicide, and weight.

As cited in the Post article, here are partial findings from the 2001 survey and how they compared to those of 1992:

76% 81%had consumed "more than a few sips" of alcohol
59% 67%had tried smoking
36% 53%had participated in sexual intercourse
Of those who responded that they had participated in intercourse:
35% 54%stated they had had more than one sexual partner
6% 12%stated they had been pregnant

Figures regarding drug use seemed to be quite inaccurate, according to three other Ponderosa students who were also interviewed in the Denver Post article. The survey presented 57 percent as the number of juniors in Douglas County who had never tried Marijuana. The three other students suggested that four out of five of all students had actually tried marijuana, so an accurate survey would present a figure closer to 20% who had never smoked pot.

Results from the survey are used by the school district to establish efforts for reducing unhealthy behaviors by students.


Douglas students' behavior less risky
Denver CO Post 24Sep01 P2
By Karen Rouse: Denver Post Staff Writer


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