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Youth Risk Behavior Survey
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New YRBS Data Modules Available
The PRCHN School-Based Surveillance and Evaluation Team conducts the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) in Cuyahoga County public high schools in odd-numbered years and in Cuyahoga County middle schools in even-numbered years. The PRCHN has administered the YRBS since 2009 , although the survey has been administered in secondary schools throughout Cuyahoga County with support from a variety of funders and community sponsors since 1995.

Many youth-focused organizations in Cuyahoga County benefit from up-to-date health and risk behavior information provided directly from local high school students. The survey is tailored to fit local needs and addresses a wide range of topics including, but not limited to: behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries; dietary behaviors, physical activity, obesity, overweight, and weight control; alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other drug use; behaviors that contribute to violence; sexual behaviors; and other health topics.

Each year the team aims to engage at least 75% of county schools. The YRBS team is pleased to announce that, in 2017, that goal was met with 45 high schools participating. Nearly 14,000 students were surveyed in these schools. Preliminary analysis of the 2017 High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey data is complete.

The data modules have been released and posted to our website.

Jean Frank, Manager of School-Based Surveillance and Evaluation, notes that one of the more surprising trends revealed by the data was that, in 2017, more female than male high school students reported current alcohol and marijuana use. On a troubling note, 18% of students went hungry sometimes, most of the time, or always, in the 30 days before completing the survey, because there wasn’t enough food in their home.

However, Frank also sees some hopeful trends among Cuyahoga County's high school students, including:
• A question about distracted driving was included in the survey for the first time in 2013. The prevalence of teen drivers who reported texting or emailing while driving has fallen since 2013 (43.5% in 2013, 37.5% in 2017).
• Cigarette smoking continues to decline. Since 2009, the current cigarette use rate has fallen from 12.5% to 6.2%.
• 75% of students have at least one adult, other than a parent, whom they feel comfortable seeking help from if they have an important question affecting their life.

The YRBS team has created an aggressive plan to report YRBS data using a variety of dissemination and social media platforms. Look for a monthly infographic and regular tweets, to name just a couple of the team’s plans.  Click here to see the first of these infographics.

Click here to view YRBS data modules from 2017 and other years.
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