Risky youth behaviors harder to track in S.D

South Dakota parents, educators and health officials are facing a fouryear gap in data about risky youth behaviors related to drinking and drug use, sexual activity and eating habits.

The lack of information about what young people are actually doing can impair efforts at the state and local levels to prevent dangerous or unhealthful behaviors. Inadequate data limits the ability of the state, school districts and community groups to seek grants or spend money wisely on programs to reduce risky behaviors.

The data gap emerged in 2017 after South Dakota lawmakers three years earlier strengthened rules requiring written parental consent for children to take surveys at school.

 

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