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NH Youth Outperform Peers Nationally by Many Indicators of Well-being

By Amy Sterndale, The Carsey Institute
May 26, 2010

New Hampshire youth ages 13 to 24 years are more likely to complete school, be employed, and have lower obesity rates than their peers nationwide, but fared worse than teens and young adults nationally in measures of alcohol and substance abuse, a new brief from the Carsey Institute at the UNH finds. The brief, co-published with the Children’s Alliance of New Hampshire, provides an overview of youth well-being in New Hampshire calculated from national and state data, and compares Granite State youth with peers across the country.

The brief, “Indicators of New Hampshire Youth Well-Being”, by Barbara Wauchope, director of evaluation at the Carsey Institute, focuses on adolescents and young people aged 13-24 and uses a set of indicators modeled by the Annie E. Casey KIDS COUNT project nationally and modeled locally by the Children’s Alliance of New Hampshire. Indicators included education and economic and household circumstances, and are followed by some of the most commonly reported risky behaviors and outcomes of young people.

“We used national and state measurements that included known risk factors for developing mental and physical health where data was available over multiple years, to identify trends over time,” noted Wauchope.

The indicators where New Hampshire youth are worse off than their peers across the country were consistently found in those measures tied to alcohol and substance abuse. “Alcohol and drug abuse are tied to a dearth of poor outcomes like traffic accidents and suicide. As a relatively wealthy, well-educated state, we have to do better to support youth as they navigate their way into young adulthood,” notes Ellen Fineberg, president of the Children’s Alliance of New Hampshire.

The brief, ““Indicators of New Hampshire Youth Well-Being”, is available to download here: http://www.carseyinstitute.unh.edu/publications/IB_Wauchope_Indicators_NH.pdf

It is a joint publication with the Children’s Alliance of New Hampshire, part of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count network of state-based research and advocacy organizations. It was funded in part by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The Children's Alliance of New Hampshire is an independent advocacy organization committed to improving the lives of New Hampshire's children and families by shaping statewide public policy.. Learn more at http://www.childrennh.org.


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