Indiana Daily Student

Study indicates Indiana youth stay clear of risky behavior

The Indiana Prevention Resource Center at IU released a study indicating most Indiana youth "make positive decisions to avoid risky behavior," according to a press release.\nThe report is based on information from 31 surveys from Indiana schools in 1999 and was funded by the Indiana Division of Mental Health. According to the release, about 27,000 students in grades six through 12 responded to the surveys and produced what William Bailey, executive director of IPRC, said is "a reasonable picture of Indiana youth."\nIn the release, Bailey said the study should "help convince prevention practitioners of the need to focus on developing positives in the lives of their youth clients instead of dwelling on the things that are wrong in youths' lives."\nThe study covered 40 developmental assets in a youth's life that are considered indicative of quality of life experiences for adolescents, the release said. Internal assets included motivation level, resistance skills and personal power, while external assets encompassed family support, family and school boundaries and parent involvement.\nAccording to the study, 82 percent of youths say they have never been in trouble with the police, 83 percent have never engaged in binging behavior, 73 percent have never had sexual intercourse and only 18 percent regularly engage in multiple risk behaviors that include alcohol, tobacco and drug use, the release said.\nThe study revealed that those with fewer developmental assets were more likely to engage in risky behavior. Lower-asset youths were 25 times more likely than high-asset youth to smoke cigarettes and the study showed similar figures with drinking and driving, smoking marijuana, shoplifting, vandalism, using illicit drugs and having sexual intercourse, the release said.\nFor more information, check out the Web site: www.drugs.indiana.edu/drug_stats/search99/.

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