Youth Risk Behavior Survey

Purpose

To assess adolescent behavioral health risks of public school students grades 6 through 12.

Key Information

Youth risk behavior including: depression and violence, tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use; sexual behaviors, obesity and its risk factors, The results are reported statewide, not by districts, towns, nor individual student. The survey includes about 1,600 high school and middle school students each year it is asked.

Collection Period

From 1995 to 2017 (odd year, spring data collection) for high school survey; From 2007 to 2017 for middle school survey.

How data are collected

Anonymous survey of randomly sampled high schools and middle schools. High school 98-item survey, and Middle school 48 item surveys are voluntary and survey procedures protect the privacy of students. Local parent permission procedures are followed before administration, including informing parents that their child's participation was voluntary.

How data can be used

The Youth Risk Behavior System Survey results help policy makers, school administrators, social service workers, and health personnel monitor risk behaviors of middle and high school students that are linked with major causes of mortality and morbidity among youth and adults in the United States. These results are also used in a variety of venues to develop policy; to plan and improve youth-based health programs; to determine existing health needs in order to develop effective intervention programs; to provide the most recent and updated information for grant submissions; and to improve the development of classroom lessons geared towards reducing health risk behaviors among adolescents.

Rhode Island Numbers, 2017

  • The 98-question 2017 Rhode Island High school Youth Risk Behavior Survey was completed by 2,221 students in 19 public, charter, special education, alternative, and vocational high schools in the state during the spring of 2017. The school response rate was 86%, the student response rate was 78%, and the overall response rate was 67%.
  • The 48 question 2017 Rhode Island Middle school Youth Risk Behavior Survey was completed by 1,484 students in 19 public, charter, special education, alternative, and vocational middle schools in Rhode Island during the spring of 2017. The school response rate was 79%, the student response rate was 83%, and the overall response rate was 66%.