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Youth Statistics
An analysis of 67 studies indicated that, compared to children who have experienced a divorce, children who live with their married parents have significantly better academic achievement, psychological and emotional adjustment, self-concept, social relations, and lower levels of misconduct such as delinquency or aggression.


Frequently Asked Questions
on Helping America's Youth

Photo of high school boy wearing jacket and glasses and smiling

Q: What is the Helping America's Youth initiative?

  • Helping America's Youth is a nationwide effort to raise awareness about the challenges facing our youth, particularly at-risk boys, and to motivate caring adults to connect with youth in three key areas: family, school, and community. As the leader of the Helping America's Youth effort, Mrs. Laura Bush is highlighting programs which are helping America 's young people.
  • Research has shown that supportive relationships are crucial to the well-being of youth. President and Mrs. Bush believe that parents and family are the first and most important influences in every child's life. By becoming actively involved in the lives of young people in their communities, teachers, mentors, clergy members, neighbors, coaches, and others can support parents and help youth make better choices that lead to healthier, more successful lives.
  • The Community Guide to helping America's Youth is an Internet resource designed to connect caring adults within communities and help them work together to make a difference in the lives of youth.

Q: Is Helping America's Youth a federally funded program?

  • Helping America's Youth is an initiative that highlights community programs across the United States that are helping young people be successful. Some of these programs receive federal funding, but many of them do not.


  • Research shows that when families, schools and communities are involved in the lives of youth, these youth are more likely to avoid risky behavior (like alcohol, drugs and gangs) and stay in school. For more information and statistics about youth, please go to

Q: Isn't Helping America's Youth a gang initiative?

  • Helping America 's Youth does not focus solely on gangs. However, the initiative does highlight effective programs that are keeping youth away from at-risk behavior – alcohol, drugs, dropping out of school – which can often lead young people to join gangs.

Q: Why is the Helping America's Youth initiative worried about boys?

  • Helping America's Youth aims to help boys and girls. However, statistics show many of our boys are struggling. More boys than girls are falling behind in academics (or reading). And more boys than girls are likely to drop out of school. About 56% of people going to college now are women. More young men go to jail. Young men are more likely to join a gang.
  • Boys often begin to fall behind girls in reading and writing achievement in elementary school, and boys often show signs of behavioral problems early in life. Poor academic achievement is related to higher rates of school dropout and juvenile delinquency.


  • Statistics show boys are at greater risk than girls for developing learning disabilities, illiteracy, dropping out of school, substance-abuse problems, violence, juvenile arrest, and early death caused by violent behavior. As boys grow older, risky behaviors, such as alcohol and drug abuse, become more prevalent and gang involvement increases. For more information and statistics about youth, please go to 

Q: What is the Community Guide to Helping America's Youth?

  • The Community Guide to Helping America's Youth is an on-line resource to help communities assess their needs and resources and link them to effective programs to help youth in their neighborhoods and towns. The online tool helps determine what works best in order to make positive differences in children's lives.

Q: How can I get involved?

  • The simplest way to get involved in the Helping America's Youth initiative is to become a caring adult in a child's life. Organizations like USA Freedom Corps can link you to programs that actively involve you in the lives of young people in your community as well -
  • To learn more about programs that might work in your community, visit the Community Guide to Helping America's Youth at


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