Teens less involved in risky behavior

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 23, 2008

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In 2007, those attending high school were less likely to smoke, drink, have sex, ride in a car driven by someone intoxicated or drive while intoxicated themselves compared with those who were this age in 1991. They were also more likely to wear seat belts, motorcycle helmets and condoms as appropriate, according to a paper published in the June 6 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Researchers analyzed data from the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey finding that 54% of high school students were sexually experienced, but this decreased to 48% in 2007. The percentage of those riding in a car operated by an intoxicated driver went from 40% to 29%, and the number who drove drunk themselves decreased from 17% to 11%. Those who had ever smoked decreased from 70% to 50%, and having had alcohol went from 82% to 75%. Those who rarely or never wore a seat belt decreased from 26% in 1991 to 11% in 2007, and those numbers went from 43% to 34% with regard to motorcycle helmets. Condom use grew from 46% to 63%.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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