Greenberg, Liberty Mutual, (617) 574-5874
Deborah Burke Henderson, SADD, (508) 481-3568
Jennifer Heeseler, LIME Public Relations, (212) 337-4051
VISITS MAY PROVE DANGEROUS FOR
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
SADD/Liberty Mutual Study Reveals
Risky Behaviors by High Schoolers
During Overnight College Visits
(November 10, 2003) Many high school juniors and seniors are
getting more than a campus tour on college visits, according to new
results from SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and Liberty
Mutual Group. Almost four in ten teens (39.1 percent) who have stayed
overnight on a college campus report engaging in drinking, other drug
use or sex during those visits. The study
also indicates these dangerous behaviors are far more prevalent among
boys than among girls.
study, conducted for SADD and Liberty Mutual by RoperASW, found the
following behaviors among the high school teens who have visited a college
campus for an overnight visit.
More than one in four teens (28 percent) report having
sex, and an additional 4.2 percent report engaging in other
types of sexual activity.
One in four teens (25.5 percent) reports drinking alcohol.
(other than alcohol) More than one in five teens (21.5 percent)
report using drugs.
risky behaviors One in eight teens (12.4 percent) reports
engaging in all of the dangerous behaviors: drinking, drug use and
the research indicates boys behaviors on these overnight campus
visits tend to be riskier than girls behaviors. For example, boys
are two to three times more likely than girls to report having sex (41.5
percent vs. 14.6 percent), drinking (36.3 percent vs. 14.8 percent)
or using drugs (29.7 percent vs. 11.6 percent).
"This new information should sound an alarm both for parents and
college administrators," said Stephen Wallace, SADD chairman and
CEO. "High school students, some as young as 16, are making poor,
and potentially tragic choices, in unsupervised environments filled
with access to alcohol, drugs and sex."
results speak to parents about the importance of setting expectations
for their teens, and discussing those expectations, to help teens make
the right decisions," said Paul Condrin, Liberty Mutual executive
vice president and manager, Personal Market. "The temptations are
waiting for these kids as soon as they go off to school, so its
important that parents have a strong communication channel with their
teens to help guide them in the right direction."
Past SADD/Liberty Mutual research has repeatedly found that open, honest
communication between parents and teens is the most important element
in healthy teen decision-making. Young people who spend time with their
parents, talk with them regularly, and have a close relationship with
them are less likely to drink, use drugs or have sex. SADD and Liberty
Mutual make available several communication tools to promote healthy
dialogue between teens and parents, including:
Contract for Life and Opening Lifesaving Lines brochure, both
available at www.sadd.org;
Mutuals Family Communications Tips brochure, available
online at www.sadd.org and www.libertymutualinsurance.com;
Collisions: How to Survive the Teenage Driving Years," a driving
safety program focusing on four areas of driving safety safety
belt use, speeding, night driving, and driving under the influence
of drugs and alcohol. The program offers families a free 15-minute
video and brochure by calling a local Liberty Mutual office or 1-800-4-LIBERTY.
Liberty Mutual lists its local sales offices at www.libertymutualinsurance.com.
White House Office of National Drug Control Policy also offers these
Up to the Risks of Marijuana: A Guide for Parents," and "Keeping
Your Kids Drug-Free: A How-To Guide for Parents and Caregivers,"
available at www.TheAntiDrug.com
or (800) 788-2800.
Liberty Mutual and SADD annually collaborate on studies and reports
linking teen attitudes, influencers and decision-making to behaviors
such as driving, drinking, drug use, and sexual activity, and provide
solutions for families to address these issues. The college visit behaviors
data is a subset of the SADD and Liberty Mutuals larger "Teens
Today 2003" project, the full results of which will
be available in January 2004.
Teens Today 2003 reports on the completion of a total of 2,753
self-administered surveys by middle and high school students in grades
6 - 12. Responses specific to college visit behaviors are based on the
responses of 321 high school students who have visited a college campus
for an overnight visit. RoperASW designed the Teens Today 2003
survey and administered it in a nationwide cross-section of 46 schools
(25 middle schools, 21 high schools) between May 6 and June 18, 2003.
The sampling error for the study at the 95 percent confidence level
is +/- 3 percentage points for the total sample. Additional findings
from qualitative research (focus groups and individual interviews),
designed and conducted by Atlantic Research and Consulting, Inc. in
April 2003, were used in the development of the student survey.
SADD, Inc. sponsors peer-to-peer education and prevention programs in
middle schools and high schools nationwide.
Liberty Mutual Group is one of the largest multi-line insurers in the
North American property and casualty industry. Offering a wide range
of products and services, Liberty Mutual is the eighth-largest provider
of private passenger auto and homeowners insurance in the U.S.