Survey Fact Sheet
Q. Why is the survey being done?
A. During the spring semester of 2003, the Oklahoma State Department of Health administered a randomized survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to measure how many youth practice health-risk behaviors. Survey results are used to create school health and community-based programs to help reduce these behaviors. Your child’s school has opted to participate in a school-wide survey. Unlike the randomized survey, which surveyed randomly selected classes in randomly selected schools, the school-wide survey will be administered to the entire student body. This will help give your child’s school a better idea of how it compares to the rest of the state as well as provide information that may be used to apply for grants and other funding to address health issues.
Q. Are sensitive questions asked?
A. Yes. Some questions are sensitive. To help solve health problems among our youth, we must first understand them. For example, AIDS is a major health problem. Sexual intercourse and injecting illegal drugs are behaviors that increase the risk of getting AIDS. The only way to learn if youth are at risk of getting AIDS is to ask questions about these behaviors. Attempted suicide, tobacco use, alcohol and other drug use, and weapon carrying are also sensitive issues. Therefore, survey questions are written in a direct but sensitive way.
Q. Will students’ names be used or linked to the surveys?
A. No. The survey has been designed to protect your child’s privacy. Teachers are not involved directly. Students do not put their name on the survey. When students finish the survey, they place the survey in an envelope and seal it shut.
Q. Do students take the survey more than once to see how their behaviors change?
A. Students who take part one year cannot be tracked because their names are not on the survey.
Q. How was my child picked to be in the survey?
A. Your child’s school asked to be surveyed in order to gather health data.
Q. How long does it take to fill out the survey? Does the survey include a physical test?
A. One class period is needed to fill out the written survey, which has 87 questions. The survey does not include a physical test or exam.
Q. Who supports this survey?
A. This survey is supported by many state organizations interested in the health of youth. Oklahoma State Department of Education, Oklahoma PTA, Cooperative Council Oklahoma School Administration, Oklahoma State School Boards Association, and other school districts that have previously participated in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey have given letters of support. It is also supported by many national organizations. People from over 100 state and local health and education agencies and 19 federal agencies helped develop the survey.
Child and Adolescent Health Division
1000 Northeast Tenth Street, Rm. 903
Oklahoma City, OK 73117-1299
Phone: (405) 271-4471
e-mail: Tyler Whitehead, B.S., C.P.S.