New youth trauma data shows needs for adult support (


Excerpts from an article by Justin Murphy are shared below.  

The 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey was administered to 1,702 secondary students across the county. The data will be discussed further in an event Thursday morning at the Memorial Art Gallery.

Here are some of the key findings:

Supportive adults outside the family are critical.

The most important finding, in Scheel-Jones' perspective, is the crucial role supportive adults, at school or in the community, can play in boosting children's resilience.

Among students with two or more ACEs, those who believe they are an important part of their community were less than half as likely to consider suicide as those who think they don't matter. There were similar findings for children who reported having at least one supportive adult outside their family and those who felt encouraged at school.

"Just being a supportive adult and providing encouragement to that child can be so much more impactful than anyone ever realized," Carragher said.

ACEs predict bad grades, self-harm and poor mental health.

Among students who reported receiving mostly As in school, 52 percent had zero ACEs and 7 percent had more than four. For students who reported failing most of their courses, 8 percent had zero ACEs and 41 percent had more than four.

Those with high numbers of ACEs were significantly more likely to have felt sad for two or more weeks at a time in the past year, to have considered or attempted suicide or to have been in a fight in the last month.


Hispanic students reported the most ACEs; 88 percent had at least one, and 26 percent had four or more. Black and multiracial students also had comparatively high rates of ACEs compared to white students, of whom 46 percent had none and 9 percent had more than four.

Nearly nine out of 10 students who selected "other" as their gender reported at least one ACE and 40 percent reported four or more.

More: Student transforms childhood trauma into basis of resilience, wisdom

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