The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) is a cross-sectional tool developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to track adolescent risk behavior over time. The national YRBS has tracked the major causes of morbidity and mortality for adolescents since 1991. Nationwide, the YRBS is conducted every two years among students in grades 9-12.
In Cuyahoga County, the YRBS is conducted every year (7-8 grades in even years and 9-12 grades in odd years). The YRBS has been administered in secondary schools throughout Cuyahoga County with support from a variety of funders and community sponsors since 1995. In 2008 the administrative and program components of the Center for Adolescent Health merged with the Center for Health Promotion Research, thus incorporating the YRBS project under one community surveillance umbrella.
This information is important to collect at the national level, and it is beneficial to collect this data on the local level in order to compare the risk behaviors of local teens with those of teens in other communities in Ohio as well as with those behaviors in other urban communities across the country. The survey is tailored to fit local needs and addresses a wide range of topics, such as 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. The Cleveland-Cuyahoga YRBS follows the methods established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, allowing local data to be compared to state and national estimate.