Identifying Benchmark Data

Cuyahoga County partners with Case Western Reserve University to monitor the health of kids, through its Youth Risk Behavior Survey, tracking conduct, comparing Cleveland adolescents and young adults (grade 9-12) with others nationwide. Here are some interesting points:

  • Safety and Violence: Only 25% agreed with the statement that Cleveland is a safe place and only 35% believed their neighborhoods were safe. Nearly 50% of Cleveland students reported being in a physical fight at least once in the past year (substantially higher than the national goal of 32%), while almost 22% of male students reported carrying a weapon in the past year.
  • Suicide:  Cleveland's 3% rate for suicide attempts over the past year exceeds the national (2%) and Ohio rates (2.3%), far in excess of the 2010 goal (1%).
  • Health Diet and Exercise:  Only 19% of students reported eating fruits or vegetables five times a day during the week prior to the survey. While most students (64%) had a body mass index in the normal range (only 1/3rd were reported overweight or obese), only 15% of students had physical education classes daily and only 25% had one class per week, significantly below the national target (50% attending PE classes daily).
  • Poorer students were also more likely to report fewer factors that are generally viewed as supporting or protecting good health, such as visiting with a doctor, having adults in their lives they can talk with or participating in extra-curricular activities.

For more information, visit the Schubert Center for Child Studies, Case Western Reserve University and find the research of Dr. Mona Shediac Rizkallah and Jean Frank, both with the Center for Adolescent Health.