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Communities That Care Youth Survey Report: Pennsylvania Youth Survey 2001

NCJ Number
Date Published
192 pages
The purpose of this survey was to estimate the prevalence of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) use and other delinquent behaviors among middle school and high school students in Pennsylvania in 2001 and identify risk and protective factors that correlate with ATOD use and other delinquent behaviors in order to inform prevention planning.
Results from the Pennsylvania Youth Survey 2001 (PAYS 2001) illustrate the complexity of drug use and delinquent behavior among the State’s 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th graders, as well as the factors that may contribute to these activities. The results reveal a combination of existing strengths and opportunities for improvement. Highlights of these results include: (1) with the exception of alcohol, the prevalence of other drug (ATOD) use among Pennsylvania students is low; (2) the prevalence of drinking and driving has been dropping since 1989 with 14.5 percent of seniors reporting driving while under the influence of alcohol on a monthly basis in 1989 compared to just 6.7 percent in 2001; (3) across all four grade levels, 86.1 percent of surveyed students agree that nicotine is addictive and 76.8 percent agree that inhalants cause lung disease; (4) on seven out of nine protective factor scales, Pennsylvania students scored higher than the matched comparison normative sample; (5) across all four grade levels, 21.1 percent reported that they had used marijuana in their lifetime; (6) nearly 9 percent of male students reported the use of smokeless tobacco within the past 30 days; (7) more than one in five 12th graders (21.2 percent) reported being drunk or high at school on at least one occasion within the past year; and (8) one-third of surveyed students reported having “been threatened to be hit or beaten up” within the past year and 7.6 percent threatened with a weapon. Results provide critical information for policy creation and program development. The PAYS can be used as the baseline against which future prevention and intervention efforts can be assessed. Tables, graphs, appendixes A-E and references