Youth Risk Behavior Survey

Youth Risk Behavior Survey
Posted on 03/21/2018
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Q. Why is the survey being done?

A: The WAWM School District will use the survey results to help measure how many youth engage in health-related behaviors. The survey results will be used to create school programs to help reduce these risk behaviors and promote health enhancing behaviors.

Q: What does the OYRBS measure and why are these things important?

A: The OYRBS focuses on health-related behaviors that result in the most significant mortality, morbidity, and social problems during both adolescence and adulthood. The OYRBS measures student attitude and perceptions related to health-related behaviors. In addition, the OYRBS measures assets and these assets have the power to protect youth from engaging in risk behaviors and at the same time promote healthy behaviors.

To determine the level of risk among adolescents, priority health-related behaviors must be measured directly. Measuring only relevant knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, or intentions will not provide an accurate description of the level of risk, because the relationship between these factors and the priority of health-related behaviors themselves often is weak, unproven, or nonexistent. For example, even though most people know that smoking causes lung cancer, many people still continue to smoke.

Q: Doesn’t a survey like this actually encourage students to engage in these behaviors?

A: The causes and determinants of health-risk behaviors are very complex. Students are exposed frequently to information about tobacco, alcohol, other drug use, violence, and sexuality through the media, parents, friends, and the broader community. Exposure to a small number of questions on any one topic is not likely to cause a change in behavior – either good or bad. If it were that easy, we could simply ask students about all the things we want them to do!

Q: Do student answer the question truthfully?

A: Research indicates data of this nature may be gathered as reliably from adolescents as from adults. To obtain truthful answers, students must perceive the survey as important and know that procedures have been developed to protect their privacy and allow for anonymous participation.

Q: Will student participation be anonymous?

A: Yes. Survey administration procedures have been designed to protect student privacy and allow for anonymous participation. Students will not put their names or other identifying information on the questionnaires.

Q: Does my child have to participate?

A: No. Participation in this survey is voluntary.  If students do participate in the survey, they have the option of leaving a question blank that they are not comfortable answering.