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Miami-Dade Youth Risk Behavior Survey

Defining the Community

The type of population that is being assessed is a Pediatric aggregate. The population used for the community assessment is school-age children in grades 9 through 12. The community is the Miami-Dade County that is a south-eastern part of Florida State. According to the United States Census Bureau, the population of the county in July 2015 was 2,693,117 (United States Census Bureau, 2016). This makes it the most populous county of the state. It is the third Florida County in terms of its area, which is around 1,946 square miles (United States Census Bureau, 2016). The population per square mile in 2010 was 1,315.5 (United States Census Bureau, 2016). The total number of the county’s population has grown over the period from 2000 to 2007 for its 13 cities, with the exception of Miami, Hialeah and Miami Beach (Department of Planning, 2016). It is estimated by the Florida Office of Economic and Demographic research that the population of Miami-Dade County that is under 18 years of age was 21,9% in 2010 (Florida Legislature Office, 2016). According to the United States Census Bureau the share of school-age children and young people under 18 has decreased by 1,4% to 20,5% in the period of 5 years (United States Census Bureau, 2016). The estimated number of the target population is 552,088 (United States Census Bureau, 2016). This paper will identify and assess some of the health-risk behaviors of the Miami-Dade population under 18 years of age. These behaviors include unintentional injuries and violence, tobacco use, alcohol and other substance use.

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Youth Risk Behavior Survey

The analysis used data from Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) conducted in 2015 that measured risk behaviors among students from ninth to twelfth grades. The sample included all public and private schools of the Florida State. The overall response survey rate was 64, 5% and was completed by 6, 876 students (Florida Health, 2016). The assessment used data for the Miami-Dade County.

Unintentional Injuries and Violence

The number of students who reported that they never or rarely wore a bicycle helmet was 90,4%, while the rates for those who rarely or never wore a seat belt was 8,7% (CDC, 2015a). The study indicates that participants are very likely to use mobile phones while driving. The rates of those who texted or e-mailed while driving a vehicle during the last 30 days prior to data collection were 32,3% (CDC, 2015a). 2,4 % of students reported to have carried a gun or a knife on school property (CDC, 2015a). Physical dating violence such as being hit, intentionally injured with a blunt object or a weapon by someone they were going out with was experienced by 7,4 % (CDC, 2015a). The rates for sexual dating violence were around 8,2% (CDC, 2015a).

Tobacco Use

The survey showed that nearly quarter of the respondents (22,3%) ever tried smoking a cigarette (CDC, 2015a). The proportion of the population smoking cigarettes at the time of the survey was 5,4% (CDC, 2015a). The research showed that less than 1% of students smoked cigarettes daily, during the 30 days before the survey (CDC, 2015a). When asked whether they tried to quit smoking, more than half of the respondents (59,9%) reported that they did not. ( CDC, 2016). Around 40% of the students used electronic vapor products (CDC, 2015a).

Alcohol and Other Drug Use

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey showed that 62,8% respondents drank alcohol at least once during their life and 18,8% of them tried it before the age of 13 (CDC, 2015a). Almost 40% of the students drank alcohol and 41,2% of them obtained it from someone else (CDC, 2015a). A third of those who responded (33,3 %) indicated that they used marijuana one or more times in their life (CDC, 2015a). Nearly 6% of the students first tried marijuana before the age of 13 (CDC, 2015a). 12,3% of those who were interviewed reported the use of prescription drugs such as Oxycontin, Vicodin , Adderall or Ritalin once or more in their life (CDC, 2015a). Approximately 6% of those surveyed used inhalants like glue, spray or paints one time or more during their life (CDC, 2015a).

Comparison and Implications

The rates of school-age children in grades 9 through 12 who reported never wearing a bicycle helmet were higher for the Miami-Dade County respondents (90,4%) than those for the entire country (CDC, 2015a, 2015b). However, in terms of violent behaviors the community students were less likely (2,4%) to carry a gun or a knife than the US students (16,2%) (CDC, 2015a, 2015b). The rates of the US students in grades 9 to 12 who ever tried smoking are 10% higher than those of the Miami-Dade County (CDC, 2015a, 2015b). The rates of daily smoking are significantly lower among the assessed community survey participants (1%) than among participants across the whole country ( 2,3%) (CDC, 2015a, 2015b). There is also a significant difference between the alcohol consumption of Miami-Dade County’s school students and the US school students (40% and 32% respectively) (CDC, 2015a, 2015b). However, the use of marijuana is 5% lower than the nation’s average in the assessed community.

The study did not show significantly higher involvement in risky behaviors among students in grades 9 through 12 of the Miami-Dade County compared with the similar group of the US students. In fact, youth in the national sample showed higher levels of involvement in some risky behaviors than the county students. However, the youth who lived in the assessed community were more likely than their peers across the nation to consume alcohol.

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CDC. (2015a) Miami-Dade County, FL 2015 Results. Web.

CDC. (2015b) United States 2015 Results. Web.

Department of Planning & Zoning Planning Research Section. (2016). Population Profiles. Web.

Florida Health. (2016). Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Web.

Florida Legislature Office of Demographic and Economic Research. (2016). Miami-Dade County. Web.

United States Census Bureau. (2016). Quick Facts: Miami-Dade County, Florida. Web.

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