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June 8, 2012

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Virginia Department of Health Shares Data on Adolescent Health Behaviors

(Richmond, Va.) Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) released data gathered in the Virginia Youth Survey last fall on the health behaviors of high school students.  This data provides timely and critical information to help parents, physicians, and other stakeholders who work with youth and highlights the risks that adolescents experience on a routine basis.

In 2011, VDH partnered with the Virginia Department of Education to examine student health behaviors as well as to explore teens’ attitudes and beliefs about various behaviors related to safety, mental health, tobacco use, substance use, nutrition, and physical activity.  In the fall of last year, 1,440 students in 36 public high schools in Virginia completed the Virginia Youth Survey, a national school-based survey that monitors adolescent health risk behaviors.  The results are now available and, based on the large sample size, accurately represent teens statewide and allow for comparisons with the rest of the country.

This is the first year that this statewide information on adolescent health behaviors as reported by the teens themselves is available for Virginia. This information will be used to modify and further develop public health and community-based programs tailored to the particular needs of Virginia youth. The survey results will also serve as a baseline for following future trends in behaviors and beliefs.   

To view the entire report, go to
or call the VDH Office of Family Health Services’ Division of Policy and Evaluation at 804-864-7671.

Last Updated: 11-08-2012

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