Survey offers interesting facts about island students

  • Mar. 10, 2014 6:00 p.m.

The school board shared data from the 2013 BC Adolescent Health Survey when it met in Queen Charlotte Tuesday Feb. 25.The survey was done by the McCreary Centre Society, a non-profit group committed to improving the health of young people in BC. Last March, it surveyed students in grades 8 to 12 on Haida Gwaii on behalf of the province, and the resulting document offers no conclusions, but is a treasure-trove of interesting data. Six percent of those participating said they went to bed hungry sometimes, often or always, and 84 percent identified themselves as heterosexual. Seven percent said they feel that their family understands them not at all, 9 percent ‘very little’, while 70 percent said ‘somewhat or quite a bit’. Ninety-four percent said they feel safe in their neighbourhood during the day, with that number dropping to 82 percent at night. Sixty-one percent of respondents said their friends would be upset with them if they got arrested, 47 percent if they beat someone up and 70 percent if they became or got someone pregnant. They also said that 28 percent their friends would be upset if they got drunk, with 31 percent being upset if they used marijuana. Only 3 percent thought they would not finish high school, with 77 percent saying they planned to continue their education after high school. Forty-five percent agreed or strongly agreed that they were happy to be at school, with 23 percent disagreeing or strongly disagreeing. Eighty-five percent of those participating had been to the dentist in the last year, and six percent said they had slept less than four hours the night before the survey. Sixteen percent said they had included at least an hour of physical activity every day in the last week, with 9 percent saying they had not. Ten percent of the students said they were addicted to alcohol or drugs, and 20 percent said they suffered from depression. Slightly more than half said they felt calm and at peace most of the time in the past month, and 17 percent said they felt happy all the time. Seventy-three percent said they thought they were really good at something, with 27 percent saying they didn’t think they were really good at something. Almost 60 percent thought they would be working in five years, four percent thought they’d be in prison, while 46 percent thought they’d be in school. While most students had never driven under the influence of alcohol or marijuana, 4 percent said they had driven after drinking more than a month ago, and 6 percent said they had driven after using marijuana in the past month or more than a month ago. Only 33 percent said they wore a seatbelt most of the time. Seventy percent said they had used alcohol, with 94 percent of those who had used it saying it was in the past year. Sixty-two percent said they had used marijuana, with 16 percent trying it first at 11 or 12 years old, 45 percent at 13 or 14.Forty-six percent said they had sex, with 54 percent saying they had not. Forty percent of those saying they had had sex said they had two or more partners in the last year. Seventy-two percent of students surveyed said they had given oral sex, with 68 percent saying they had received it. Thirty-four percent of those who said they had oral sex said they had it with more than one person in the past year. Twenty-one percent of those responding said they had been physically assaulted by a boy or girlfriend in the past year, and 5 percent said that in the past month, they always carried a weapon at school. Twelve percent said they had cyber bullied someone in the last year, and 20 percent said they had been so bullied. The school district here was one of 56 in the province that participated in the survey. Superintendent Angus Wilson said the data is useful here, as it points out what some of the trends are.

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