Colorado

Jul 21, 2014 5:47 AM

Teen health benefits from top notch education

A study suggests that disadvantaged teens may get more than an academic boost by attending top-notch high schools - their health may also benefit.

Risky behavior including binge-drinking, unsafe sex and use of hard drugs was less common among these kids, compared with peers who went to mostly worse schools. The teens were otherwise similar, all from low-income Los Angeles neighborhoods who applied to top public charter schools that admit students by lottery.

The researchers compared behavior in almost 1,000 kids in 10th through 12th grade who were picked for the high-performing schools and in those who went elsewhere.

Overall, 36 percent of the selected kids engaged in at least one of 11 risky behaviors, compared with 42 percent of the other teens.

Results were published online Monday in Pediatrics.

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