Smith, A., Stewart, D., Poon, C., Peled, M., Saewyc, E. and McCreary Centre Society. (2014). From Hastings Street to Haida Gwaii: Provincial results of the 2013 BC Adolescent Health Survey.McCreary Centre Society

The 2013 BC Adolescent Health Survey was administered to almost 30,000 public school students across the province. It provides a comprehensive look at the health of youth aged 12–19. The results from the survey show us that British Columbia youth come from increasingly diverse backgrounds. For example, between 2008 and 2013 the percentage of students speaking a language other than English at home increased, while the percentage of students who lived with their parents and those who identified as completely heterosexual decreased.

The survey also showed that youth are generally making better choices about risk behaviours than they have in previous years. For example, a lower percentage of students reported having tried tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, or any other substance than their peers ve and ten years ago. They were also more likely to engage in injury prevention behaviours, such as always wearing a seat belt and not driving after drinking. These choices may also be re ected in better health outcomes: Students were less likely to have had a sexually trans- mitted infection or to have been pregnant or caused a pregnancy, and a smaller percentage reported serious injuries than in previous years.

The survey was able to identify a number of protective factors for BC youth that contribute to general health and well-being. These included physical activity; good nutrition; getting at least nine hours of sleep; feeling safe at home, school, and in their neighborhood; participating in cultural activities; having supportive adults and peers; having a sense of competence; and feeling listened to and valued.

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