2023 Ottawa County Youth Assessment Survey

A special thank you to the school district superintendents, school principals, administrators, teachers, parents and students for participating in the 2023 Ottawa County Youth Assessment Survey (YAS). Planning and implementation of the YAS was coordinated by the YAS Committee, whose time and efforts were invaluable in making this project possible.

2023 YAS Highlights

The teens who took the YAS

total students





8th grade: 37%

10th grade: 32%

12th grade: 32%

White: 68%

Hispanic: 14%

Other: 18%


In the YAS, bullying is described in this way: “one or more students teasing, threatening, spreading rumors about, purposely excluding, hitting, shoving, or hurting another student over and over again. It does not mean when two students of about the same strength or power, argue or fight or tease each other in a friendly way”.

Mental Health

In the Last Year:

I stopped doing some usual activities because I felt so sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row.
I have seriously thought about attempting suicide.
I have made a plan about how to attempt suicide.
I attempted suicide 1+ times.

Counseling or Therapy

During the past 12 months, I have received counseling or therapy from a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, psychiatric nurse, or clinical social worker.


The average stress level reported by students on a scale of 1 – 10 during the past 30 days (1 is little to no stress and 10 is a great deal of stress).

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Questioning (LGBQ+)

LGBQ+ was defined as those identifying as gay or lesbian, bisexual, not sure about their sexual identity (questioning), or some other non-heterosexual way. Students who answered that they did not know what the sexual orientation question was asking were excluded.

Nutrition & Wellness

Minority teens are about 1.5x more likely than white teens to go hungry because there was not enough food in their home.


Among those who reported having dated or gone out with someone in the past 12 months, the percent of students who



Report “my parents/guardian know where I am and who I am with.”


Did not go to school on one or more days in the past 30 days because of concerns about safety at school or on the way to or from school.


Have been forced to work or do something illegal by somone who got money or something of value for what they did.


Have been given money or something of value in exchange for sex in their lifetime.

In the past 30 days among those who drive…

Texted or used the internet, apps, or email while driving.

Drove a vehicle after smoking marijuana.

Drove a vehicle after drinking alcohol.

Sexting & Pornography



Sexual Health

Students who reported that their parent/guardian or other adults in their family have talked with them about what they expect when it comes to sex.

*Asked among all students, not just those who participated in the sexual health questions.

Social Media

Social Media Use & Mental Health

Social Media Use & Past 30 Day Substance Use

Substance Use

Average age of first use

(among those who report having tried by 12th grade)

Percent of students who report there is no or slight risk to smoking marijuana once or twice a week.

Percent of students who report there is no or slight risk to using electronic vapor products or e-cigarettes.


smoked cigarettes


had five or more drinks of alcohol within a couple of hours (binge drinking)


used marijuana


used an electronic vapor product


had at least one drink of alcohol

Funding in 2023 Provided By