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The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System: Measuring Health-risk Behaviors

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Objective: To measure priority health-risk behaviors among youth. Methods: The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) monitors priority health-risk behaviors among youth. Results: In 1999, many high school students practiced behaviors that contribute to leading health problems -- 16.4% rarely or never wore safety belts and, during the past 30 days, 17.3% carried a weapon, 34.8% smoked cigarettes, and 26.7% used marijuana. Also, 49.9% had had sexual intercourse. One quarter (26.0%) were at risk for becoming overweight or were overweight. Conclusion: YRBSS data are used to improve policies and programs to reduce priority health-risk behaviors among youth.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5993/AJHB.25.3.14

Affiliations: Surveillance and Evaluation Research Branch, Division of Adolescent and School Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.

Publication date: May 1, 2001

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.
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