Northwest NEWS

January 11, 1999

Front Page

Riverview youth provide important data on health and risk behavior

by Anthony Smith, Riverview Safe and Drug Free Schools Coordinator

   In the spring of 1998, Riverview sixth, eighth, tenth, and twelfth graders participated in the Washington State Survey of Adolescent Health Behaviors (WSSAHB). The focus of the WSSAHB is on risk behaviors such as violence and alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use that can result in injury and/or impede positive development among our youth.

   The survey also included risk and protective factors, which are attitudes and opinions that research has shown to be highly correlated with these health risk behaviors.

   The purpose of the survey is to identify and monitor factors that affect the health of our state's youth. The results can be used to identify important areas of need and assist in the planning of effective state and local prevention programs for both drug abuse and violence.

   The results of this initial survey in Riverview are nearly identical to the state averages in both the areas of substance abuse and delinquent/violent behavior. What do the results in Riverview mean, and what can schools, parents, and comunity do to help?

   Because this is the first time that the Riverview School District has participated in the WSSAHB, there are no baseline data to compare previous results, which demonstrate trends. Such data will be available for the community in the fall of 2000 when the district has completed a second survey. The District's Safe and Drug-Free Schools Committee drafted the following recommendations:

   For more information, contact Riverview Safe and Drug Free Schools Coordinator Anthony Smith at 425-788-0287, or Friends of Youth, Youth and Family Substance Abuse Counselor Libbie Green at 425-844-3090.