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Chapter 5. Health and Wellness

Indicator 49. Personal Safety

When asked about certain health-risk behaviors in 2009, about 31 percent of high school students (grades 9 through 12) reported that they had engaged in a physical fight in the past year and 28 percent reported riding with a driver at least once in the past 30 days who had been drinking alcohol. High school students also reported having engaged in other behaviors in 2009 that could compromise their safety, including carrying a weapon (17 percent), carrying a gun (6 percent), driving after drinking alcohol (10 percent), and being injured in a physical fight (4 percent). Greater percentages of male than female high school students reported engaging in these high-risk behaviors: carrying a weapon or a gun, driving after drinking alcohol, and engaging in or being injured in a physical fight. No measurable difference was found in the percentages of male and female students who reported riding with a driver who had been drinking in 2009.

Between 1991 and 2009, the percentages of high school students, both male and female, who reported engaging in each of the following behaviors declined: carrying a weapon, driving after drinking alcohol, riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol, and engaging in a physical fight. For example, between these years, the percentage of high school students who carried a weapon decreased from 41 to 27 percent for males and from 11 to 7 percent for females. In addition, the percentage of male high school students who carried a gun decreased between 1993 and 2009 (from 14 to 10 percent), while the corresponding percentage of female high school students fluctuated between 1 and 3 percent. There were no measurable differences over time in the percentages of males and females who reported being injured in a physical fight.

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