Highlights from the 2017 PAYS Survey

Results from the 2017 PAYS survey are in, and the complete statewide report is available from PCCD, here. Below are some highlights from the report.

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          Highest 2017 Risk Factors (all grades):

          • Perceived Risk of Drug Use (49)
          • Parental Attitudes Favorable to Anti-Social Behavior (46)
          • Low Commitment to School (45)
          • Low Neighborhood Attachment (43)
          • Depressive Symptoms (38)
          • Percent of Students with Total Risk (40) {defined as 5 or more risk factors for 6th and 8th graders and 7 or more risk factors for 10th and 12th graders)

          Highest Risk Factors, Prioritized by Grade Level:

          • 6th Grade – Parental Attitudes Favorable to Anti-Social Behavior (50.1, up from 48.3 in 2015); Perceived Risk of Drug Use (47.2, up from 43.0 in 2015); Laws & Norms Favorable to Drug Use (43.6 up from 39.8 in 2015)
          • 8th Grade – Low Commitment to School (46.8, up from 41.7 in 2015); Perceived Risk of Drug Use (43.8, up from 39.3 in 2015); Parental Attitudes Favorable to Anti-Social Behavior (40.9, up from 40.1 in 2015); 
          • 10th Grade – Low Commitment to School (49.8, up from 45.5 in 2015); Parental Attitudes Favorable to Anti-Social Behavior (47.2, down from 47.3 in 2015); Perceived Risk of Drug Use (46.3, up from 43.9 in 2015)
          • 12th Grade – Perceived Risk of Drug Use (58.6, up from 55.7 in 2015); Low Neighborhood Attachment (50.5, up from 49.7 in 2015); Parental Attitudes Favorable to Anti-Social Behavior (47.1, up from 47.0 in 2015)

           

          Highest Protective Factors

          • Highest levels of protection are in the Family Domain – Family Attachment (63); Opportunities for Prosocial Involvement (62); and Rewards for Prosocial Involvement (61).

           

            Alcohol Related Statistics

            • PA is higher than the National Average in Lifetime Use in 8th (33.0% to 23.1%); 10th (53.0% to 42.2%) and 12th (69.2% to 61.5%).
            • For the third straight administration, lifetime use continued to decrease in 8th, 10th, and 12th, but went up in 6th grade (now at 16.8% lifetime).
            • 30-day use of alcohol is higher by PA 8th, 10th, and 12th graders than their national peers.
            • Binge Drinking Rates decreased in grade 12 (from 18.0% to 16.5%) but increased slightly in 10th grade (from 8.4% to 8.7%).
            • The rate of 12th graders who reported driving a vehicle after drinking alcohol during the past year continued to decline, from 8.7% in 2013 to 5.5% in 2017.  However the rate of 12th graders who reported driving after using marijuana remains higher at 10.5%.
            • Primary Source for obtaining alcohol for 12th graders was “Gave someone money to buy it for me” (41.5%).
            • Over 40% of 8th graders (42.6%) and 10th graders (40.4%) reported their primary source for alcohol was taking it without permission.  These rates increased dramatically from 2015 (8th was 24.8% and 10th was 31.0%).
            • Over 23% of students reported that their parents gave them alcohol.
            • 75.9% of 10th graders and 80.3% of 12th graders reported that they would not be caught by the police for underage drinking. 65.8% of seniors reported it would be easy or somewhat easy to obtain alcohol, down from 70.0% in 2013.

             

            Tobacco Related Statistics

            • Lifetime use of cigarettes continues to decline (8th grade – 9.4% in 2017 from 11.0% in 2015; 10th grade 16.2% from 18.3%; 12th grade 29.0% from 32.7%).  
            • 30-day use also is dropping (8th grade 2.5% in 2017 from 3.5% in 2015; 10th grade 6.0% from 6.8%; 12th grade 13.2% from 14.6%)
            • 12th graders report much higher 30-day use of cigarettes that their national peers – 13.2% to 9.7%
            • 12th graders report using smokeless tobacco at a much higher rate than their national peers (15.9% to 9.7% lifetime; 7.5% to 4.9% 30-Day).  However, both of these rates continue to drop, from 18.9% lifetime in 2013 and 10.3% 30-day.
            • PA students are reporting 30-day e-cigarettes at a much higher rate than the national average (8th grade 10.9% to 6.6%; 10th grade 21.9% to 13.1%; 12th grade 29.3% to 16.6%).  Use by both 10th and 12th graders went up from 2015.

             

            Marijuana Related Statistics

            • PA students are using marijuana at lower levels than their national peers Lifetime – 8th grade 8.4% to 13.5%; 10th grade 22.4% to 30.7%; 12th grade 38.1% to 45.0%; 30-Day – 8th grade 4.6% to 5.5%; 10th grade 12% to 15.7%; 12th grade 20.8% to 22.9%
            • Both Lifetime and 30-Day use by 10th and 12th graders remained steady from 2015.
            • More students in 10th and 12th grade report using marijuana than tobacco for both lifetime use and 30-day.
            • The percentage of 12th graders that reported 30-day vaping who said that they smoked marijuana or hash oil increased from 14.2% in 2015 to 18.5%.

             

            Other Drugs Statistics

            • Lifetime Inhalant use is lower than national average, especially in 8th grade (5.2% to 8.9%).  Lifetime inhalant use by 8th graders increased – from 4.8% in 2015 to 5.2 in 2017.
            • 12th grade lifetime narcotic use decreased from 12.1% in 2015 to 8.8% in 2017, though this remains higher than the national average of 6.8%. 30-day use also decreased from 3.0% to 1.7%
            • 37.7% of 12th grade students who used prescription drugs reported buying them from someone, an increase from 2015’s rate of 36.5%.
            • 47.5% of 6th graders and 46.7% of 8th graders who reported using prescription drugs during the past year took them from a family member in their home.
            • The overall percentage of students reporting it would be easy for them to obtain prescription drugs decreased from 27.8% in 2015 to 25.5% in 2017.  The sharpest decrease was among 12th graders whose rate dropped from 43.0% to 38.0%.
            • Lifetime use of synthetic drugs by 12th graders continues to drop: from 6.9% in 2013, to 4.8% in 2015, to 2.0% in 2017.
            • Heroin use remains low for 12th graders – lifetime: 0.5%, 30-day: 0.1%
            • Lifetime use of prescription stimulants was much lower for Pennsylvania youth than their national peers – 8th grade, 1.1% to 5.7%; 10th grade, 3.3% to 8.2%; and 12th grade 6.8% to 9.2%.
            • 30-day use of cocaine, crack and methamphetamine remains under 1% for all students.

             

            Perceptions of Risk and Approval

            • Only 68.4% of 12th graders reported moderate or great risk to binge drink.
            • The perceived risk of trying marijuana once or twice drops dramatically from 6th grade (62.1%) to 8th grade (53.1%) to 10th grade (33.9%) to 12th grade (25.1%).  In all grades the level of perceived risk has dropped each year since 2013.
            • Only 53.9% of seniors reported that there was a moderate or great risk from regular marijuana use.
            • A lower percentage of 6th graders reported risk from prescription drugs (76.5%) than 12th graders (84.3%).
            • 89.5% of students reported that their parents would think it was wrong or very wrong for them to smoke marijuana. This is lower than the rates for tobacco (93.6%), alcohol (89.4%, and prescription drugs (93.6%).
            • Only 59.5% of 10th graders and 45.4% of 12th graders reported that their friends would think it was wrong or very wrong to use marijuana.  This compares to alcohol at 67.0% and 57.6% respectively.
            • In 2017, only 43.4% of seniors and 56.3% of 10th graders reported that they would somewhat or strongly disapprove of someone their age using marijuana.  For 6th graders this figure was 90.7% and for 8th graders it was 80.5%.  For all grades, this disapproval has dropped each year since 2013.

             

            Anti-Social Behaviors

            • 7.3% of 10th graders and 10.6% of 12th graders reported being drunk or high at school over the last year.  This is much lower than the BH Norm (11.4% and 15.2%, respectively).
            • More 8th graders (9.2%) than 12th graders (6.4%) reported being suspended from school during the last year.

             

            School Safety and Climate

            • For the third straight year, the rate of students who said that they felt school would be important later in life dropped in all grades.  Only 46.3% of seniors agreed with this statement, compared to 80.3% of 6th graders.
            • Only 34.0% of 12th graders and 34.8% of 10th graders reported that they enjoyed being in school during the past year. These rates also continued to decrease for the third administration in a row.
            • Overall, 83.4% of students reported that they felt safe in their school. This is down from 86.5% in 2013.
            • 20.5% of students reported being threatened at school over the last year, including 24.4% of 8th graders and 22.4% of 10th graders.  
            • 11.2% of 6th graders and 10.5% of 8th graders reported being attacked at school, compared with only 4.4% of seniors and 7.5% of 10th graders.
            • Only 63.0% of students reported that adults stop bulling when they see it or are told about it.  And this ranges from 80.7% of 6th graders, to 65.3% of 8th graders, to 55.9.3% of 10th graders, down to only 52.5% of 12th graders.
            • 31.5% of 10th graders and 28.1% of 12th graders reported inappropriate sexual contact when using technology.  This is an increase from 2013 in both grades (23.6% and 19.1% respectively).
            • 28.2% of students reported having suffered some bullying over the last year.  This was highest among 8th graders at 31.4%
            • 16.5% of students reported being bullied though texting or social media over the past year, including 18.7% of 8th graders and 17.9% of 10th graders.
            • Only 4.6% of students reported that they stayed home from school because of fear of being bullied.
            • 62.0% of students, including 67.2% of 10th graders and 67.7% of 12th graders reported being emotionally abused through insults or name-calling.

             

            Gambling

            • The percentage of students who reported betting on sports continues to drop, from 20.6% in 2011 to 13.8% in 2017.

             

            Mental Health

            • 38.1% of students reported feeling sad or depressed most days, including 44.4% of 10th and 40.8% of 12th graders.  
            • 39.5% of 12th graders and 37.9% of 10th graders reported that “at times I think I am no good at all”.
            • 13.4% of students worried that food would run out before their family could buy more. 8.4% of seniors reported skipping a meal because of family finances.
            • 19.9% of 12th graders and 20.2% of 10th graders reported considering suicide and 11.5% and 12.0% respectively attempted to commit suicide.

             

            Other Data

            • 91.9% of students in all grades reported that their parents knew where they were and who they were with.  This increased in all four grades from 2015.
            • 86.9% of students reported that there are clear family rules about alcohol and drug use.  This ranges from 93.6% of 6th graders to 79.4% of 12th graders.
            • 28.4% of all students reported that it is not at all wrong or a little bit wrong for someone their age to use marijuana.  51.0% of seniors said it would not be wrong or only a little wrong.
            • Comparably, 28.5% of seniors said it would not be wrong or only a little wrong for someone their age to use alcohol.  This is down from 32.5% in 2013.