Data on Health and Well-being of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Other Native Americans. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)

12/01/2006

Sponsor: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Description: The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) is an epidemiologic survey system established by CDC to monitor the prevalence of youth behavior that most influences health. The 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 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.
Relevant Policy Issues: Measurement of Health Status, Key Health Disparities, and Factors that Contribute to Health Disparities.
Data Type(s): Survey
Unit of Analysis: Individual
Identification of AI/AN/NA: Race/ethnicity are ascertained by the following two questions:

Are you Hispanic or Latino?

  • Yes
  • No

What is your race? (Select one or more responses.)

  • American Indian or Alaska Native (AI/AN)
  • Asian
  • Black or African American
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (NH/PI)
  • White
AI/AN/NA Population in Data Set: For 2005, there are 13,917 records for the National Youth Risk Survey; of these 147 are identified as AI/AN and 90 as NH/PI.
Geographic Scope: The geographic scope of the study is national. Geographic identifiers available for analysis include geographic region (Northeast, Midwest, South, or West). Prior to 2005, metropolitan status (urban, suburban, or rural) is available, but will not be made available in data sets beginning in 2005.
Date or Frequency: School-based data have been collected in odd years since 1991. The 2005 National School-based Youth Risk Behavior Survey is available for public use. National Alternative High School YRBSS was conducted in 1998 and the National College Health Risk Behavior Survey was conducted in 1995.
Data Collection Methodology: Students complete the self-administered questionnaire in their classrooms during a regular class period, and record their responses directly on a computer-scannable booklet or answer sheet.
Participation: Optional, without incentives to students.
Response Rate: In 2005, the school response rate was 78 percent and the student response rate was 86 percent. When these response rates are combined, the overall response rate equaled 67 percent.
Sampling Methodology: The 2005 national school-based survey employed a three-stage cluster sample designed to produce a nationally representative sample of students in grades 9-12. The first stage sampling frame contained primary sampling units (PSUs) consisting of large counties, sub-areas of very large counties, or groups of small, adjacent counties. The PSUs were selected with probability proportional to school enrollment size. At the second sampling stage, 195 schools were also selected with probability proportional to school enrollment size. To enable separate analysis of data for black and Hispanic students, schools with substantial numbers of black and Hispanic students were sampled at higher rates than all other schools. The third stage of sampling consisted of randomly selecting one or two intact classes of a required subject (e.g., English or social studies) from grades 9-12 at each chosen school. All students in the selected classes were eligible to participate in the survey.
Strengths: Data are collected on key policy issues, including health status, health disparities, and factors that contribute to key health disparities. Multiple years of data are available for trend analysis.
Limitations: There are few AI/AN/NA respondents in each year. These low numbers will make complex analyses on these populations difficult.
Other: The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Navajo Nation also conduct the YRBS on about a 3-year cycle. These data are owned by the BIA and the Navajo Nation. Potential users can contact BIA and the Navajo Nation for information about accessing these data.

For access to the YRBSS data for the Navajo Nation, it is probable that the Nation will need to approve the use of data by outside researchers through the Navajo Nation Health and Human Research Review Board. The proposing party would be required to submit a proposal to the Navajo Nation with supporting documents on the purpose and use of the data, and benefits of outcome for the Navajos. A report summarizing the results of the Navajo Nations YRBSS in 1997, 2000, and 2003 is available for public dissemination at the following website: www.yrbs.navajo.org.

Contact Information: Contact information concerning these data follows:

BIA:
Jack Edmo at JEdmo@bia.edu or (505) 248-6964

Navajo Nation:
Christine J. Benally, Ph.D.
Lead Epidemiologist, Community Health Services
CDR USPHS, Director Support Scientist Officer
P. O. Box 160, N. U.S. Hwy 491
Shiprock, NM 87420
(505) 368-7427 desk
(505) 368-6324 fax
(505) 368-6300 office
christine.benally@ihs.gov

Access Requirements and Use Restrictions: YRBSS data are available to the public at no cost.
Contact Information: Dr. Laura Kann
Division of Adolescent and School Health
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Mailstop K-33
4770 Buford Highway, NE
Atlanta, GA 30341-3717
(770) 488-6181
LKK1@cdc.gov

Or: healthyyouth@cdc.gov
(770) 488-6161

Data can be accessed at www.cdc.gov/yrbs.

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