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Kids today showing better judgment: study

Jeremy Nuttall

By Jeremy Nuttall, 24 hours Vancouver



The old derisive expression of “these kids today” may no longer hold water after a new study found adolescents are making better choices than in previous years.

The study, conducted by the McCreary Centre Society — a non-profit organization conducting research on youth issues — surveyed almost 30,000 youth in B.C. in Grades 7 through 12.

Executive director Annie Smith said the results found an across-the-board decline in risky behaviour.

“If they were sexually active they were more likely to use a condom,” Smith said. “In terms of substance use, we saw huge kinds of improvements. Everything was down that we asked about, tobacco, alcohol marijuana, ecstasy ...”

Smith said the study also found if youth are going to try something potentially risky they are now waiting longer than in the past.

Students who said they had tried prescription drugs without a doctor’s consent went down to 9% from 15% in 2008.

During the same period, students who tried hallucinogens dropped to 6% from 9%.

Smith said it appears education is one of the main reasons students have eased up on risky behaviour.

“They have good access to health information,” she said. “They can look up on the Internet what the effects of these things might be, why it might be a good idea to wait and they’re definitely getting those messages, I think.”





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