Arizona Youth Survey, Gender Study
The ACJC is statutorily bound to perform an assessment of Arizona's children with regard to alcohol, drug and tobacco use as well as measure risk and protective factors which is done in a study called the Arizona Youth Survey. The AYS biennial survey provides meangingful insights into not only drug, alcohol and tobacco use among Arizona kids, but also provides data to help researchers understand specific gender issues as well as school failure, gang and gun issues among the state's 8th, 10th and 12th graders.
Our mission is to sustain and enhance the coordination, cohesiveness, productivity and effectiveness of the criminal justice system in Arizona
About the Findings:
"Data from the original Arizona Y o u t h Survey allowed deeper research into issues of gender, g a n g s , guns and poor school performance to demonstrate that prevention programs which promote positive community, school and family factors positively influence the performance of Arizona youth. What we have found in our research is that kids who c o m e from backgrounds with strong social networks perform better in school, were less likely to join a gang, carry a gun or weapon to school or experiment w i t h alcohol, tobacco or illicit drugs," Ballance explained and added, "on the flip side of that equation, youth who are exposed to poor neighborhood conditions, anti-social and dysfunctional parents or friends are at a significantly greater risk for gang membership, carrying guns, performing poorly in school and reporting much higher usages of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs."
-- Steve Ballance, ACJC Statistical Analysis Center
Participating schools were selected to ensure that students from large and small schools in each Arizona county were represented in the survey. Careful selection of the schools were sampled and uniform administration of the survey have resulted in survey data that are valid and representative of the students in grades 8, 10, and 12 in Arizona. Research on risk and proCharacteristics of Participants1 tective factors has important implications for prev e n t i o n efforts. The premise of this approach is that in order to promote p o s i t i v e youth development and prevent problem behaviors, it is necessary to address those factors that predict the problem. By measuring risk and protective factors in a population, specific risk factors t h a t are elevated and widespread can be identified and targeted by preventive interventions that also promote related protective factors. The data derived from the Arizona 1Due to response rate, ethnicity numbers do not equal total Y o u t h Survey provides student numbers. valuable information speaking to the underlying conditions impacting our state's youth and allows for more detailed analysis relative to specialized populations.
T h i s study clearly demonstrates the importance of measuring risk and protective factors for Arizona students so that parents, teachers and policy makers have accurate information to effectively assist students who may have numerous risk factors and few protective factors in their lives.
Arizona Criminal Justice Commission 1110 West Washington, Suite 230 Phoenix, Arizona 85007 Toll Free 877.668.2252 (P) 602.364.1146 (F) 602.364.1175
Review full report at: www.acjc.state.az.us
Gender Study Report Highlights:
� Low Commitment to School - Across all grades: males were at greater risk. Percentage of students indicating that they seldom or never found assigned school work meaningful and important. ( 3 0 . 8 % Male compared to 21.4% Female). Family Conflict - Across all grades: F e m a l e s were at greater risk. Percentage of students indicating their families argued about the same things over and over. (39.0% Male compared to 48.9% Female). Interaction with Antisocial Peers - Across all grades: Males were at greater risk. Percentage of students reporting one or more friends being suspended from school. (38.4% Male compared to 28.4% Female). Depressive Symptoms - Across all grades: Females were at greater risk. Percentage of students indicating that they saw themselves as failures. (16.7% Male compared to 23.0% Female). � F a m i l y History of Antisocial Behavior - Across all grades: Females were at greater risk. Percentage of students indicating that a family member had a severe alcohol or drug problem. ( 2 8 . 2 % Male compared to 37.9% Female). S e n s a t i o n Seeking - Across all grades: M a l e s we r e at g r e a t e r ri s k . Pe r c e n t a g e of students indicating that they had done something crazy and a little dangerous at least once a month. ( 4 0 . 1 % Male compared to 23.1% Female). Handguns - Percentage of students indicating that handguns were Very Easy or Sort of Easy to obtain. (31.7% Male compared to 20.1% Female). Gang Involvement - P e r c e n t a g e o f students involved in a gang. (6.1% Male compared to 3.8% Female).
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