The Status of Girls in Indiana 2013 was prepared by faculty and students from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. The paper focuses on demographics, education, physical health, media usage and its impact, reproductive health, substance and alcohol abuse, mental health, and violence and abuse. The paper notes several indicators that demonstrate the need to recognize different pressures and issues when developing programs for girls. For instance:
- Poverty is a significant issue, particularly among African American girls, with “almost half of the…girls between the ages of six and 17 … living in poverty in Indiana in 2011.”
- “Significantly more female students in Indiana in 2012 used prescription drugs to get high than male students in grades seven and eight.”
- “… 20.4 percent of Indiana’s female eighth grade students hav[e] considered suicide, 14.1 percent hav[e] planned suicide and 11.5 percent hav[e] attempted suicide at least once.”
- “In 2011, 28 percent of Indiana’s female high school students reported being bullied on school property. Among Indiana’s high school students, electronic bullying is more common among girls than boys.”
A major source of data was the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS). On June 12, 2014, YRBSS will publish the 2013 national, state, and local results. The YRBSS monitors:
- Behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence
- Sexual behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection
- Alcohol and other drug use
- Tobacco use
- Unhealthy dietary behaviors
- Inadequate physical activity
The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention published Girls Study Group: Understanding and Responding to Girls’ Delinquency in October 2008. An overview of the Girls Study Group, which is ongoing, and links to a variety of other publications is available here.
Finally, the Notes and References section of The Status of Girls in Indiana 2013 cites a wide-ranging list of national and state resources for data that would be useful for further research.