In both 2017 and 2022 Culpeper County Public Schools contracted with the Center for Survey Research to conduct a “Youth Risk Behaviors and Experiences Survey” through a grant provided by the Culpeper Wellness Foundation. The anonymous survey asked about a number of health-related behaviors and the experiences of 7th through 12th grade students.
Today’s youth are facing significant challenges following the COVID-19 pandemic and other societal changes. Culpeper County wanted to help parents, educators, human service agencies, youth-centered organizations, health professionals, and policy-makers gain a deeper understanding of these problems and track the changes in risks and behaviors since the last survey they conducted in 2017.
When compared to national data, Culpeper students’ drug use, alcohol use, and vapor product and tobacco use were substantially lower than national averages. Sexual activity among youth is also lower in Culpeper than it is state- and nation-wide, though the percentage of sexually active adolescents who use birth control is significantly lower in Culpeper than it is state-wide and nationally. Compared to the national average, the percentage of high school students who did not use any form of birth control is proportionately 41.2% higher in Culpeper. Nutrition is also significantly poorer in Culpeper than in the rest of Virginia and America. Culpeper students consume less milk and water and consume fewer vegetables every day than their state and national peers. Culpeper students were comparatively more physically active than students in the state and national reports. An example of these kinds of findings is below.
The data from the surveys were used by the School Health Advisory Board to develop goals and strategies to improve student wellness in the domains of nutrition, physical activity, and social and emotional well-being. The survey data has been deployed by the School Board to win numerous grants for the public schools and other community organizations that have developed services and programs promoting safety and good health for Culpeper County youth.
For the full report and related content, download the files below.