The purpose of this assessment is monitor middle school (MS) and high school (HS) students’, in a public, rural school system in a eastern region of the US, perception of the six types of health-risk behaviors that contribute to leading causes of death and disability among youth and adults.
Also, this assessment evaluates parents of pre-school through 12-grade students, of the same public school system, perception prevalence of chronic disease, insurance status, health care utilization, and barriers to healthcare access.
Survey method of computerized random selection, students and parents from study population, implemented the Survey Monkey® data collection for the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS, 2013), HS and MS instruments, with time of survey completion dependent on students attendance in computer lab course; postal-mail, paper method and at-home completion of survey, was implemented for the West Virginia School Health Technical Assistance Center Parent Survey 2013 (PS, 2013) instrument. PS, 2013 data was hand-punched researcher into Survey Monkey. Descriptive statistics were calculated.
Parent n=465 (13%), HS n=1015, MS n=1089. All cohorts of study were reasonably distributed across population considering, appropriate age, grade and gender.
Parent report identified n=234 (45.03%) behavior was most frequent health concern, n=311 (69.58%) identified probable or definite use of health center if available.
Depression and suicide risk behavior revealed HS student n=187 (18.07%) identified themselves as seriously considering suicide; MS student n=246 (22.67%) identified themselves as seriously though of killing themselves.
Reports from HS and MS for depression and suicide reported higher than respective state, high school report higher than national report, where no national report is available for middle school. Need for continued support of school based health clinic where mental health services are provided is supported by this assessment. Continued evaluation of health care needs of students and provision of services by school based health clinics is warranted.
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