A new analysis from Child Trends looks at the high school class of 2013, painting a vivid description of the nation’s most recent group of graduates.
“This profile offers a revealing look at the characteristics of teens and many of the issues they have encountered in their lives,” said David Murphey, Child Trends senior research scientist, in a recent press release. “While, it depicts an ‘average’ class, any actual class may look very different. But, chances are, it’s not too far off the mark.”
About six out of 10 students had sexual intercourse before graduating, the analysis said. Nearly half of the graduates reported they were sexually active, and 39 out of 48 grads said they used some form of birth control the last time they had sex.
According to the report, nearly 30 percent of high school grads were sexually victimized, and about one-fifth reported having a sexually transmitted infection in the last year. One in 10 grads were the victims of rape or dating violence.
Fewer than five percent of female grads have been or currently are pregnant, and an estimated one out of every 100 graduating females in 2013 had an abortion, the analysis indicated.
Although a slightly more than 50 percent of grads reported no alcohol, tobacco or illicit drug use in the 30 days prior to the analysis, almost 30 percent of the graduating class have been passengers in an automobile with a driver who had been drinking. Nearly a quarter of grads recently engaged in binge drinking, 17 percent smoke cigarettes and 8 percent recently used an illicit drug other than marijuana, the data indicated. An estimated 23 percent of grads recently used marijuana, with 7 percent using it daily or nearly every day.
Seven out of 10 grads experienced some form of physical assault prior to graduating, and about four out of 10 reported previous bullying experiences. Child Trends found 27 percent of graduates had been in physical fights, and 16 percent had carried a weapon. Approximately 3 percent of grads have been victims of violent crime.
Almost one-fifth of grads have special health care needs, including 12 percent with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), 11 percent with asthma and 10 percent with professionally diagnosed learning disabilities. Almost nine out of 10 high school grads were found to have some form of health insurance coverage, however.
At 52 percent, more than half of all 2013 grads are either overweight or obese, the analysis found, and around 4 percent have bulimia.
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