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Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2009
NCES 2010-012
December 2009

Indicator 15: Students' Use of Alcohol on School Property and Anywhere

In 2007, 45 percent of students in grades 9–12 reported having at least one drink of alcohol anywhere in the past 30 days, while 4 percent had at least one drink on school property.

Studentsí illegal consumption of alcohol on school property may lead to additional crimes and misbehavior (Kodjo, Auinger, and Ryan 2003). It may also foster a school environment that is harmful to students, teachers, and other staff (Fagan and Wilkinson 1998). In the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, students in grades 9–12 were asked whether they had consumed alcohol at all (referred to as "anywhere" in this indicator) in the past 30 days and if they had consumed alcohol on school property.40 Alcohol consumption anywhere is included as a point of comparison with alcohol consumption on school property. In 2007, 45 percent of students consumed at least one drink of alcohol anywhere, and 4 percent consumed at least one drink on school property (figure 15.1 and table 15.1).

The percentage of students who reported drinking alcohol anywhere was higher in 1995 (52 percent) than in 1993 (48 percent), and declined from 1995 to 2007 to 45 percent. Generally, the percentage of students who reported consuming alcohol on school property declined from 6 percent in 1995 to 4 percent in 2007.

The percentage of students who reported drinking alcohol anywhere or on school property varied by student characteristics such as sex, grade level, and race/ethnicity. In every survey year, a greater percentage of males than females reported using alcohol on school property. For example, in 2007, 5 percent of males compared to 4 percent of females reported using alcohol on school property. However, since 2003, there has been no measurable difference in the percentage of males and females who reported using alcohol anywhere. In 2007, 45 percent of both males and females reported using alcohol anywhere.

A larger percentage of students in higher grades than in lower grades reported drinking alcohol anywhere in 2007. For example, 55 percent of 12th-graders reported using alcohol, compared to 36 percent of 9th-graders, 42 percent of 10th-graders, and 49 percent of 11th-graders (figure 15.2 and table 15.1). A higher percentage of 12th-graders (5 percent) than 9th-graders (3 percent) reported drinking on school property; however, no measurable differences were found among other grade levels.

In 2007, a larger percentage of White and Hispanic students reported drinking alcohol anywhere than their Black, Asian, or American Indian/Alaska Native peers, and a smaller percentage of Asian students reported drinking alcohol anywhere than students from other race/ethnicities. Forty-seven percent of White students and 48 percent of Hispanic students reported drinking alcohol anywhere compared to 35 percent of American Indian/Alaska Native students, 34 percent of Black students, and 25 percent of Asian students. A greater percentage of Hispanic students (7 percent) reported using alcohol on school property in 2007 than White students (3 percent), Black students (3 percent), Asian students (4 percent), or American Indian/Alaska Native students (5 percent).

In 2007, the percentage of students who reported drinking alcohol anywhere (39 states and the District of Columbia) and on school property (38 states and the District of Columbia) varied among the states and the District of Columbia for which data were available. Among these states and the District of Columbia, the percentage of students who reported drinking alcohol anywhere ranged from 17 percent in Utah to 49 percent in Wisconsin, while the percentage of students who reported drinking on school property ranged from 3 percent in Iowa, Missouri, and Ohio to 9 percent in New Mexico (table 15.2).

This indicator repeats information from the 2008 Indicators of School Crime and Safety report. For more information: Tables 15.1 and 15.2 and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2008b).

40 "On school property" was not defined for survey respondents.

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