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Bullying, Alcohol and E-Cigarette Consumption Down in Comparison to State in 2017 YRBS Assessment

Over 2,000 Durham Public School students participated in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey about health, wellness, and nutrition in Durham County

Post Date:12/04/2018 4:46 PM

DURHAM, N.C. – The 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) is now available, released by the Durham County Department of Public Health (DCoDPH).  The survey is part of a national school-based survey, produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and given biannually in partnership with Durham Public Schools and DCoDPH.  The goal of this survey is to assess health risk behaviors that can contribute to injury and leading causes of death among the adolescent population. 

Topics of the survey include:  personal safety, violence-related behavior, sexual health, physical activity, substance use, nutrition, psychological health, body weight, school environment, and selected prevention-related indicators.  YRBS results are used by state and local education and public health officials to develop and track goals, seek funding for programs, implement strategies, and inform policies that promote prevention and health promotion among youth.

“We are pleased to discover that electronic vapor product usage was only at 14% for Durham County high school students compared to 22% in the state, and alcohol consumption was 21% compared to 27% respectively, “said Gayle Harris, director, DCoDPH.  “However, we still have to make strides in other areas such as mental health, nutrition, and physical activity.  By analyzing this data, we understand how to address these challenges and consider viable solutions to improve the health and well-being of our youth.”

Data from the 2017 YRBS is available on the Partnership for a Health Durham’s website,



  • Overall, the percentage of high school students who slept eight or more hours a night increased from 17% in 2015 to 28% in 2017.The change in the bell schedule at DPS may have contributed to the increase in sleep.
  • Nearly half of middle school students (47%) and a third (33%) of high school students reported being physically active for at least 60 minutes per day on five or more days per week.
  • A total of 61% of middle school students and 51% of high school students reported seeing another student bullied at school.
  • A total of 26% of middle school students and 30% of high school students reported feelings of depression in the past year.
  • Marijuana was reported as the most commonly used substance within the month leading up to the survey for all school levels.


Data from the 2017 YRBS is available on the Partnership for a Health Durham’s website,

A total of 2,653 DPS students participated in the YRBS (1,357 middle school and 1,296 high school students).  DPS collected surveys from 11 of 12 high schools.

For more information and to view the full YRBS Report and other health reports, visit or contact Denver Jameson at or 919.560.7832.

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