A guide to conducting your own youth risk behavior survey
Published Date:June 2014
Corporate Authors:National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (U.S.). Division of Adolescent and School Health.
Description:The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Systems measures six categories of priority health-risk behaviors among youth: behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence; sexual behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection; alcohol and other drug use; tobacco use; unhealthy dietary behaviors; and inadequate physical activity plus obesity and asthma.
Forty-seven states, six U.S. territories, and 21 of the largest urban school districts in the U.S. — through a cooperative agreement with the Division of Adolescent and School Health, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention at CDC — administer a Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) to scientific samples of high school student in the spring or fall of odd-numbered years. Some of these sites also administer the YRBS to middle school students.
These surveys, along with a National YRBS and other YRBSs, constitute CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. CDC provides both fiscal and technical support for these state, territorial, and large urban school district surveys. If you are funded by CDC to conduct a YRBS this document is not for you.
This document is designed for communities that plan to conduct a YRBS without technical or fiscal support from CDC. To obtain the best possible information about the prevalence of youth risk behaviors in your community, you should carefully consider at least these nine questions:
1. Whom will I survey?
2. Whose permission must I get to conduct the survey?
3. How do I develop my YRBS questionnaire?
4. When should I conduct my YRBS?
5. What survey administration procedures should I follow?
6. Who will administer my YRBS?
7. How will I analyze the data?
8. How will I report the results of my YRBS?
9. Should I have a policy for sharing my YRBS data?
This guide will help you answer each of these questions, but is not intended to replace expertise and experience in school-based survey research. You may find that additional technical support is needed as you conduct your YRBS. One source of that support might be the YRBS coordinator in your state. Check with your state education or health agency for the appropriate person to contact. You also might seek assistance from local colleges or universities or survey research consulting firms.
Supporting Files:No Additional Files
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