Health >> Health Archives >> Childhood Health Risks (2012) >> Teen Risk & Protection Factors (RPFs) >> Risks by Region

Compared to teens in East Region, South Region teens experienced more risk factors that increase vulnerability to poor lifestyle choices.

During childhood, frequent or extended exposure to toxic stressors – such as abuse, neglect, and family dysfunction – can impair brain development, with potentially lifelong consequences for health and wellbeing.  Similarly, certain attitudes and preferences in adolescence can predict whether teens are likely to engage in unhealthy or delinquent behaviors. 

King County 8th, 10th, and 12th graders responded to more than 100 questions about attitudes, beliefs, and elements of the community, school, and peer/individual social environments that relate to adolescent problem behaviors such as violence, delinquency, and the use of alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. Risk factor scores could range from 0 to 14. 

In 2010, 12% of King County 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students reported 10 or more risk factors in their lives.  65% of students reported 5 or fewer risk factors.

  • South Region 8th, 10th, and 12th graders experienced a higher average number of risk factors than teens in East Region and the county overall.
  • As expected, teens who experienced more risk factors in their lives were more likely to use alcohol, tobacco, and drugs (data not shown).
  • See Notes & Sources for a list of risk factors.