An Inventory Of Federally Sponsored HIV And HIV-Relevant Databases. Database: National School-Based Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS)


Purpose Of The Database And Study Design: The YRBS is an epidemiologic surveillance system that was established by the CDC to monitor the prevalence of youth behaviors that most influence health. The YRBS focuses on priority health-risk behaviors established during youth that result in the most significant mortality, morbidity, disability, and social problems during both youth and adulthood. Such behaviors include: unintentional and intentional injuries; tobacco use; alcohol and other drug use; sexual behaviors that result in HIV infection, other sexually transmitted diseases, and unintended pregnancies; and physical activity. Survey results are used by the CDC to: monitor how priority health-risk behaviors among high school students increase, decrease, or remain the same over time; evaluate the impact of broad national, State, and local efforts to prevent priority health-risk behaviors; monitor progress in achieving relevant national health objectives for the year 2000; and help focus programs and policies for comprehensive school health education on the priority health-risk behaviors.

Nature Of The Data Collected: Self-recorded survey

Unit Of Analysis: Individual survey respondents

Data Collection Methods: The YRBS uses a three-stage cluster sample design to produce a nationally representative sample of ninth through twelfth grade students in the US. The target population is all public, parochial, and other private school students in ninth through twelfth grade in the fifty States and the District of Columbia, with the exception of Louisiana. In Stage 1 in 1997, a total of 1,719 PSUs consist of large counties or groups of smaller, adjacent counties. Fifty-four PSUs were selected from sixteen strata formed on the basis of urbanization and the relative percentage of African-American and Hispanic students in the primary sampling unit (PSU). PSUs were classified as urban if they were in one of the 60 largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the US, otherwise they were considered non-urban. PSUs were selected without replacement with probabilities proportional to school enrollment size. In Stage 2, 191 schools were selected with probability proportional to school enrollment size. Schools with substantial numbers of African-American and Hispanic students were sampled at relatively higher rates than all other schools. In Stage III, a sample was randomly selected within each chosen school at each grade, one or two intact classes of a required subject (e.g., English or social studies). All students were eligible to participate. Trained data collectors administered an 88-item questionnaire in the classroom. Students recorded responses on computer scannable answer sheets. Parental consent was obtained prior to sample administration. Individual responses were weighted.

General Attributes: In 1997, there were 16,262 interviews completed.

Major Data Constructs And Key Data Elements: HIV-related items measure sexual history, condom use, alcohol and drug use during sex, drug use history (including injection drug use), HIV education received and source of the education, and use of birth control pills. Other measures include: demographic, educational, and physical characteristics; geographic location; parental educational level; and other health-risk behaviors and frequency of those behaviors.

Strengths And Weaknesses Of The Study Design And Database: The YRBS is a nationally representative survey.

Gaps In The Data Collected And Factors Leading To The Gaps: None identified

Feasibility Of Linking With Other Databases: This is an anonymous survey so linking is not possible.

Process To Access The Database And Contact Person: A public use data set is available. For more information contact: Chief, Surveillance and Evaluation Branch, CDC, Mailstop K-33, 1600 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta GA 30333; (770) 488-3259.

Selected Citations:

CDC. Trends in HIV-related sexual risk behaviors among high school students- selected US cities, 1991-1997. MMWR. 48(21): 440-443, 1999.

Kann L, Lowry R, Kinchen S, Collins J. Eight-year trends in HIV risk behaviors among US youth. International Conference on AIDS. 12: 204 (Abstract No. 14110), 1998.

Kann L, Kinchen SA, Williams BI, Ross JG, et al. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance- United States, 1997. Journal of School Health. 68(9): 355-369, 1998.

Garofalo R, Cameron Wolf R, Kessel S, et al. The association between health risk behaviors and sexual orientation among a school-based sample of adolescents. Pediatrics. 101: 8954-902, 1998.

CDC. Trends in sexual risk behaviors among high school students- United States, 1991-1997. MMWR. 47(36): 749-752, 1998.

Shrier LA, Emans J, Woods ER, Durant RH. The association of sexual risk behaviors and problem drug behaviors in high school students.Journal of Adolescent Health. 20(5): 377-383, 1997.

Hou SI, Basen-Engquist K. Human immunodeficiency virus risk behavior among white and Asian/Pacific Islander high school students in the United States: does culture make a difference? Journal of Adolescent Health. 20(1): 68-74, 1997.

CDC. Trends in sexual risk behavior among high school students- United States, 1990, 1991, and 1993. MMWR. 44(7): 124-125, 131-132, 1995.

Lowry R, Holtzman D, Truman BI, Kann L, et al. Substance use and HIV-related sexual behaviors among US high school students: are they related? AJPH. 84(7): 1116-1120, 1994.