Delaware

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

Changes from baseline to final in Delaware included a decrease in overall older adolescent mortality, but an increase in young adult mortality. Changes from baseline to final in other objectives was fairly positive with improvement in seat belt use, and decreases in rates of physical fighting, riding with a driver who had been drinking, weapon carrying among females, marijuana use, and tobacco use.  Rates of binge drinking, engaging in sexual intercourse, and current sexual activity remained flat from baseline, with only the area of suicide attempts requiring medical attention increasing since baseline.

At final, Delaware compared favorably or on par with national rates in the areas of overall mortality, seat belt use, physical fighting, weapon carrying, tobacco use, riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol, mortality due to MVC among younger adolescents, and condom use.  Delaware compared unfavorably with national rates in the areas of sexual experience, current sexual activity, suicide attempts requiring medical attention, and mortality due to MVC among older adolescents and young adults.

Highlights of Findings by Objective

Jump To: Mortality; Unintentional Injury; Violence; Substance Use and Mental Health; Reproductive Health; Chronic Disease Prevention

Mortality

Overall mortality for Delaware decreased from baseline among older adolescents but increased among young adults.  In 2009, rates were higher among males than females in every age category.

Comparison with national data. The decrease in overall mortality rates in Delaware was greater than the slight decrease in rates nationally; however the young adult increase was substantially greater in Delaware than nationally.  At final, the rate of overall mortality in Delaware was lower than the national rate.

Unintentional Injury

(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.

Rates of adolescent mortality due to motor vehicle crashes at baseline were based on fewer than 20 deaths, thus comparisons to final cannot be made reliably.  In 2007, males had more than four times the mortality rate due to motor vehicle crashes than females.

Comparison with national data. Delaware had similar mortality rates to national rates among younger adolescents at final, but higher rates than nationally among older adolescents and young adults.

Rates of safety belt use in Delaware improved significantly among all groups between baseline and final.  In 2009, Delaware females reported higher rates than males, except among Hispanics. Seat belt use rates were highest for Whites, with Hispanics and Blacks reporting similar rates.

Comparison with national data. Delaware rates for safety belt use were higher than national rates at final.  As in Delaware, females had higher rates nationally. However, nationally, Hispanics had the highest rates of use, followed by Whites and then Blacks.

The rate of adolescents in Delaware who rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol declined from baseline overall.  In 2009, the rates for males and females were roughly equal.  Whites had the highest rates, followed by Hispanics and then Blacks.

Comparison with national data. The rate of riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol for Delaware was equal to the national rate. Both Delaware and national rates improved from baseline, although nationally rates also improved among males, and among Hispanic and White adolescents.  Nationally rates were slightly higher for females. The race/ethnicity pattern noted in Delaware differed from the national pattern:  Nationally, Hispanics had the highest rates, followed by Blacks and then Whites.

Violence

(homicide, physical fighting, weapon carrying)

Homicide rates were based on fewer than 20 deaths, thus were unsuitable for analyses.

There was a decrease in rates of physical fighting among Delaware adolescents between baseline and final with improvements in all groups except Black females.  In 2009, males were substantially more likely to engage in fighting than females. Adolescents of multiple races had the highest rates, followed by Hispanics and Blacks, with relatively small differences among these groups. Whites had the lowest rate of physical fighting.

Comparison with national data. As in Delaware, the national rate decreased from baseline overall, among males and females. In 2009, the overall rate of physical fighting in Delaware roughly matched the national rate. The gender pattern was similar between the state and national data, and there were also decreases among racial/ethnic groups including Whites and Hispanic males. National racial/ethnic patterns were mostly similar to state patterns; one difference from Delaware is that Blacks had the highest rate nationally.

Rates of weapon carrying among adolescents in Delaware declined among females, including Black and White females.  Males were almost three times as likely to carry a weapon than females. Adolescents of multiple races had the highest rates, followed by Hispanics; Blacks and Whites had roughly matching rates, the lowest among racial/ethnic groups.

Comparison with national data. In contrast to the decrease in weapon carrying among females in Delaware, there was an increase in weapon carrying nationally from baseline among White females. However, overall rates of weapon carrying in Delaware roughly matched national rates. As in Delaware, males had higher rates than females nationally. National racial/ethnic patterns were mostly similar to state patterns; one difference from Delaware is that Whites had the highest rate nationally.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health

(binge drinking, marijuana use, suicide, suicide attempts requiring medical attention)

The rate of binge drinking among adolescents in Delaware remained flat from baseline across all groups.  In 2009, males were slightly more likely to engage in binge drinking than females; Whites were most likely to engage in binge drinking, followed by Hispanics and then Blacks.

Comparison with national data. Nationally, the gender and ethnic/racial pattern was consistent with the pattern in Delaware.

The overall rate of adolescents reporting marijuana use in Delaware decreased among males as a group, and specifically among White males.  In 2009, rates for males were slightly more than the rate for females.  Whites reported the highest rates, followed by Blacks, and then Hispanics.

Comparison with national data. The gender and racial/ethnic patterns in Delaware matched those at the national level.

Suicide rates were based on fewer than 20 deaths, thus were unsuitable for analyses.

The overall rate of suicide attempts requiring medical attention increased from baseline among Black adolescents overall, and specifically among Black males. In 2009, rates for females were higher than those for males, and rates for Black adolescents were higher than for Whites.

Comparison with national data. In contrast to the increase in suicide attempts requiring medical attention in Delaware, suicide attempts decreased overall nationally.  In 2009, the Delaware rate for this objective was higher than the national rate.  As in Delaware, females had higher rates than males nationally, and the racial/ethnic pattern was similar.

Reproductive Health

(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).

The rate of Delaware adolescents who reported having engaged in sexual intercourse remained flat from baseline across groups.  Rates were essentially equal between males and females.  Blacks reported the highest rates, followed by Hispanics, and then Whites.

Comparison with national data. In 2009, Delaware adolescents were more likely to have engaged in sexual intercourse than adolescents nationally.  As in Delaware, overall rates remained flat nationally; however, there was a decrease among Hispanic males nationally.  Nationally, rates for males were slightly higher than for females; racial/ethnic patterns were similar in Delaware and nationally.

The percentage of sexually experienced adolescents in Delaware reporting current sexual activity remained flat from baseline across groups.  In 2009, females reported higher rates than males.  Blacks were most likely to be currently sexually active, followed by Hispanics and then Whites.

Comparison with national data. As in Delaware, rates of currently sexually active adolescents remained flat nationally.  Rates among adolescents in Delaware were higher than national rates.  Nationally, males reported higher rates of current sexual activity, as opposed to higher rates for females in Delaware. The racial/ethnic pattern was similar at the state and national level.

Rates of condom use among adolescents in Delaware remained flat from baseline.  In 2009, males had higher rates of condom use than females.  Blacks had higher rates than Whites.

Comparison with national data. Rates of adolescent condom use in Delaware were commensurate with national rates.  Nationally, rates for Whites increased, while in Delaware this rate remained flat. National gender and racial/ethnic patterns were similar to patterns in Delaware.

Chronic Disease Prevention

(tobacco use)

Overall tobacco use decreased among adolescents in Delaware from baseline among all groups except Black females.  In 2009, rates were higher for males than females.  Tobacco use was highest among Whites, followed by Hispanics, and then Blacks.

Comparison with national data. As in Delaware, there was a similar decrease in the rate of adolescent tobacco use nationally, with a decrease in rates across all groups.  Gender and racial/ethnic patterns were also similar.  In 2009, rates of tobacco use in Delaware was lower than national rates.

Additional data may be available at: http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dph/chca/dphahinfo01.html