Please be sure to read the data notes & limitations page. This explains many aspects of these comments, including how only changes over time can be discussed as statistically significant, and why the comparisons with national rates only discuss data for selected subgroups.
Overview of Findings
Findings for Connecticut were somewhat encouraging with improvement from baseline in overall mortality among younger and older adolescents, and young adults; decreases in deaths due to motor vehicle crashes among young adults; and homicide mortality remaining flat among older adolescents, with a slight decrease among males. Baseline data were not available for most objectives.
In 2009, rates for most objectives in Connecticut compared favorably or matched national rates, with lower rates for mortality due to motor vehicle crashes, homicide rates, physical fighting, having engaged in sexual intercourse, and current sexual activity. Only the Connecticut rate of attempted suicides requiring medical attention compared unfavorably with national rates.
Highlights of Findings by Objective
Overall mortality in Connecticut decreased from baseline among younger and older adolescents, and young adults. Reductions were greater among male older adolescents and young adults. The decline was especially dramatic among Black male young adults; Data also suggest dramatic declines among Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic males, and Black older adolescent males. The only exception to the downward trend was among older adolescent and young adult Whites, with slight increases in mortality. At final, overall mortality rates were higher among male older adolescents and young adults than females. Among young adults, mortality among Blacks was much higher than among Whites.
Comparison with national data. Connecticut’s overall adolescent mortality was substantially lower than the national rate. Although Connecticut had lower mortality rates among each age group and gender category, the state gender and racial/ethnic patterns was similar to the patterns in the national data.
(motor vehicle crashes, safety belt use, & riding with a driver who has been drinking alcohol) Please note the data for safety belt use are presented as “not wearing safety belt,” the inverse of the objective.
Adolescent mortality in Connecticut due to motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) was flat from baseline among older adolescents, but decreased among the young adult age group. Although males are still more than two and a half times as likely as females to die in motor vehicle crashes, data suggest this gap has narrowed since baseline.
Comparison with national data. The MVC mortality rate in Connecticut was lower than the national rate across age groups, sex, and racial/ethnic groups. The decrease in MVC was slightly better than the change in the national rate.
Overall rates of safety belt use are higher among females than males; however rates are fairly similar between females and males among White and Hispanics. Black females in contrast are much more likely to report wearing a seatbelt than Black males.
Comparison with national data. The overall rate of safety belt use in Connecticut in 2009 matched the national rate. The gender pattern noted at the state level matched the pattern of rates nationally; however in Connecticut rates of seatbelt use for females were slightly worse than the national rate, whereas rates for males were slightly better than the national rate.
Rates of adolescents in Connecticut who report riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol were slightly higher among females than males. Blacks reported the lowest rates, with Hispanic and White females reporting the highest rates.
Comparison with national data. The overall rate of adolescents riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol in Connecticut was slightly lower than the national rate, with rates for females similar to national rates, and rates for males slightly lower. Nationally, rates were higher for Blacks and Hispanics, but lower for Whites than at the state level.
(homicide, physical fighting, weapon carrying)
The rate of physical fighting in Connecticut was higher among males than females, with Blacks overall reporting the highest rates of physical fighting, followed by Hispanics and then Whites. However, Black females and Hispanic males reported the highest rates of physical fighting, followed closely by White males.
Comparison with national data. The overall rate of physical fighting among adolescents in Connecticut was slightly lower than the national rate, as were overall rates across all racial/ethnic groups. While the overall gender pattern at the state level was similar to the national level, Black female adolescents in Connecticut reported higher rates of physical fighting, while Black males reported lower rates than nationally.
The rate of weapon carrying among adolescent males in Connecticut was more than three times that of females; Black males were most likely to report this behavior followed by Whites and then Hispanics.
Comparison with national data. The overall rate of weapon carrying in Connecticut was less than the national rate as were overall rates across ethnic/racial groups. The one exception was among Hispanic females, who reported higher rates of weapon carrying at the state level than at the national level.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health
(binge drinking, marijuana use, suicide, suicide attempts requiring medical attention)
Rates of binge drinking were slightly higher among males in Connecticut than females, but overall rates were close to two times as high among Whites and Hispanics, compared to Blacks.
Comparison with national data. The patterns of binge drinking rates among males and females and ethnic/racial groups in Connecticut roughly matched the patterns among those groups nationally.
Rates of marijuana use were higher among males than females, with Whites reporting the overall highest rates, followed by Blacks and Hispanics with roughly equal rates. Among Blacks, males and females reported similar rates, with Black males less likely to report marijuana use than White or Hispanic males.
Comparison with national data. The patterns of marijuana use among males and females in Connecticut matched the patterns nationally. However nationally, White and Black males reported the highest rates of marijuana use, followed by White females and Hispanic males.
The rate of adolescent suicide attempts requiring medical attention in Connecticut in 2009 was slightly higher for males than females, and somewhat higher for Hispanics, followed by Blacks and Whites.
Comparison with national data. In 2009, the overall rate for adolescent suicide attempts in Connecticut was higher than the national rate and patterns by sex and ethnic/racial group differed. Nationally, the rate of attempts was higher for females than males; and Blacks reported the highest rates, followed closely by Whites, and then by Hispanics.
(sexual inexperience, no current sexual activity, condom use)
Please note that for the first two objectives, the text and tables present findings about adolescents who are sexually experienced and currently sexually active, the inverse of the actual objective. For the third objective, the table presents findings for lack of condom use, the inverse of the objective. (See Data Notes & Limitations).
Overall rates of having engaged in sexual intercourse were somewhat higher for Connecticut adolescent males than females in 2009. Blacks were most likely to report having had sex followed by Hispanics and then Whites. Among Whites, females and males were equally likely to have engaged in sexual intercourse, while Black and Hispanic males were more likely than females to have done so.
Comparison with national data. The overall Connecticut rate of being sexually experienced was somewhat lower than the national rate at final. While Whites and Blacks were slightly less likely to be sexually experienced than Whites and Blacks nationally, the rates for Hispanics were equal.
The rate of sexually experienced adolescents in Connecticut who report current sexual activity is similar between males and females, with Blacks most likely to report sexual activity, followed by Hispanics and then Whites.
Comparison with national data. The overall Connecticut rate of current sexual activity in 2009 was lower than the national rate. Rates for Whites and Blacks were less than national rates, while rates for Hispanics were slightly higher.
Rates of adolescent condom use in Connecticut were higher for males than females during last intercourse, and Whites were more likely to use condoms than Hispanics.
Comparison with national data. The overall rate of adolescent condom use in Connecticut in 2009 was close to the national rate; with rates for males somewhat lower in Connecticut than nationally and rates for females slightly lower. State rates for Blacks were less than national rates, while rates for Whites were more similar.
Additional data may be available at: Connecticut DPH School Health Survey