2011-2021 YRBS Data Summary and Trends Report
New CDC report raises urgency to support school-based programs as a vital lifeline to help struggling youth
2/13/2023 — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data today from its Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data Summary and Trends Report: 2011-2021, which shows that many teens are experiencing increasingly high levels of violence, sadness, and suicide risk. This report has the first YRBS data collected since the start of the pandemic. Although there are a few behaviors and experiences that are moving in the right direction, the increases in harmful experiences among adolescents are striking.
- Nearly 3 in 5 U.S. teen girls experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in 2021—double that of boys and the highest levels reported in a decade.
- LGBQ+ youth were substantially more likely to have experienced all forms of violence and had worse mental health outcomes than their heterosexual peers. While all teens reported increasing mental health challenges, experiences of violence, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors, CDC’s new data indicate females and LGBQ+ students fared worse than their male or heterosexual peers in 2021.
- Youth experienced high and worsening levels of persistent sadness or hopelessness across all racial and ethnic groups; and that reported suicide attempts increased among Black youth and White youth.
Schools can take steps to help prevent and reduce the negative impact of violence and other trauma and improve mental health. CDC’s What Works in Schools evidence-based supports local school districts in improving health education, connecting young people to the services they need, and making school environments safer and more supportive. What Works in Schools can help to reverse negative trends and ensure that youth have the support they need to be healthy and thrive.