Uses of Youth Risk Behavior Survey and School Health Profiles Data: Applications for Improving Adolescent and School Health
Version of Record online: 18 MAY 2011
© Published 2011. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA
Journal of School Health
Volume 81, Issue 6, pages 345–354, June 2011
How to Cite
Foti, K., Balaji, A. and Shanklin, S. (2011), Uses of Youth Risk Behavior Survey and School Health Profiles Data: Applications for Improving Adolescent and School Health. Journal of School Health, 81: 345–354. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2011.00601.x
- Issue online: 18 MAY 2011
- Version of Record online: 18 MAY 2011
- Received on August 24, 2009, Accepted on April 14, 2010
- Youth Risk Behavior Survey;
- School Health Profiles;
- adolescent health;
- school health;
- data uses
BACKGROUND: To monitor priority health risk behaviors and school health policies and practices, respectively, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) and the School Health Profiles (Profiles). CDC is often asked about the use and application of these survey data to improve adolescent and school health. The purpose of this article is to describe the importance and potential impact of Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) and Profiles data based on examples from participating sites.
METHODS: The authors spoke with representatives from 25 state and 8 local agencies funded by CDC to learn how data from the YRBS, Profiles, and other data sources are used. The authors identified common themes in the responses and categorized the responses accordingly.
RESULTS: Representatives indicated survey data are used to describe risk behaviors and school health policies and practices, inform professional development, plan and monitor programs, support health-related policies and legislation, seek funding, and garner support for future surveys. Examples presented highlight the range of possible uses of survey data.
CONCLUSIONS: State and local agencies use YRBS and Profiles data in many ways to monitor and address issues related to adolescent and school health. Innovative uses of survey data are encouraged, although it is also crucial to continue the more fundamental uses of survey data. If the data are not disseminated, the current health needs of students may not be adequately addressed.