The YRBS is conducted using a two-stage cluster sample design that mirrors the sampling method of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its national YRBS. In the first stage of sampling, schools are selected with probability proportional to school enrollment size. This means that schools with larger enrollments have a greater chance of being selected to participate. In the second stage of sampling, classrooms are selected in each chosen school. Classroom selection is random, though schools are given the option to alternatively have the survey administered to the entire student body (i.e., every classroom). All students in the selected classrooms are eligible to participate.
Data are collected in one of two ways: paper and pencil or electronically. Paper and pencil surveys have been the method of choice in the past and are still used in most schools. Responses from paper and pencil surveys are scanned onto computers and verified using Teleform software. Recently, electronic based surveys were introduced and some schools choose this method of administration. Qualtrics is used to design and collect individual responses electronically. The electronic version of the survey is more efficient but is not feasible for all surveyed schools. Regardless of collection method, data are combined into one data set for the entire county. Data are then weighted to the population of students within Cuyahoga County and analyses are conducted using the weighted data.
YRBS data have been collected from schools throughout Cuyahoga County at either the high school or middle school level every year since 2000. The YRBS was also conducted at the city level as part of the Steps to a Healthier Cleveland program
from 2005 to 2009, and as part of the CMSD Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH)
-1308 initiative from 2014 to 2018. While the PRCHN generally does all data management and weighting in-house, the Steps YRBS and DASH-1308 data were managed and weighted by Westat, an independent contractor with the CDC.