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Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS)
Summary Sheet


What is the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)?
The YRBSS was developed in 1990 to monitor priority health risk behaviors that contribute markedly to the leading causes of death, disability, and social problems among youth and adults in the United States. These behaviors, often established during childhood and early adolescence, include tobacco use, unhealthy dietary behaviors, inadequate physical activity, alcohol and other drug use, sexual behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection, and behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence.

What are the purposes of the YRBSS?
The YRBSS was designed to determine the prevalence of health risk behaviors, assess whether health risk behaviors increase, decrease, or stay the same over time, and examine the co-occurrence of health risk behaviors. The YRBSS provides comparable national, state, and local data and it provides comparable data among subpopulations of youth. It also monitors progress toward achieving the Healthy People 2010 objectives and other program indicators.

What are the components of the YRBSS?
The YRBSS includes national, state, and local school-based surveys of representative samples of 9th through 12th grade students. The CDC random sample surveys are conducted during the odd-numbered years, i.e. 2001, 2003, 2005, etc. and provide data representative of high school students in public schools in the United States. Results of the CDC random sampling YRBS are published on a regular basis in the CDC periodical, Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report. 

How much does it cost and what is involved?
There is no cost to the school district or school to conduct the YRBS through the Oklahoma State Department of Health. (Note, the parental permission form is provided by OSDH, which can be sent home with students or mailed home directly. The host school absorbs any mailing costs). OSDH provide all survey materials. 

How is the survey administered?
The CDC random sample YRBS is administered by the staff of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Maternal and Child Health Service, Child and Adolescent Health Division. Mandatory training is provided to all OSDH staff.  All survey administrators are given specific guidelines about the survey atmosphere, confidentiality procedures and safeguards, and recommendations about how to handle student questions during the YRBS.

Who do I contact for more information?
If you would like more information about the YRBS please contact the Thad Burk, Child and Adolescent Health Epidemiologist, at (405) 271-6761 or by e-mail at thadb@health.ok.gov

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