Time constraints on
youth data collection – 2/6/06
Q: It is the concern of many across the
country that collection of school student/ youth health initiative
data is causing concern in many states. These concerns are
due, in part, to significant time constraints on classroom
time, escalating requests for additional data collection,
the need for local and regional data, and the presumption
that it will be best to combine these surveys into a one time,
or potentially a once-a-year or bi-annual, all-inclusive survey.
Please respond to the following:
- Have you been contacted or had any conversation with others
in your state regarding these concerns?
- What youth tobacco surveys is your state currently doing
and who administers and pays for the survey(s)? YRBS? YTS?
- Are there other youth surveys (IE- PRIDE survey, etc.)
that your state doing, and who administers and pays for
- Do you feel that, as a Tobacco Control Program Manager,
that you need further, specific guidance and direction from
CDC as to a revised, specific protocol(s) in order to maintain
programmatic data collection requirements?
- YRBS - Dept. of Education, YTS - Tobacco Program,
Dept. of Public Health with CDC funds
- PRIDE survey - only local level data source - joint
effort between state and local schools, the Dept. of
Mental Health, and Alabama Dept. of Economic and Community
Affairs, and the Dept. of Children's Affairs.
- Maybe. The YTS may be a moot point, as CDC won't be
doing the national YTS until 2009 due to lack of funds.
I know how to do it; it's just becoming more difficult
to do it. I don't use much of the data from this exhaustive
single topic survey, but then I have a relatively small
program compared to other states. It would be best if
we could pull the few questions we use and compile them
into one large survey that would meet the needs of all
programs, but no one has been able to coordinate such
an effort in our state. I'm more concerned about the
Key Indicators Manual reliance on the Adult Tobacco
Survey - which I don't have the funds to implement.
- This is a consistent problem and issue between the
California Department of Education (CDE) and California
Department of the Health Services (CDHS). CDE oversees
the California Healthy Kids Survey, a YRBS type survey
that provides local schools with needs assessment data
on a broad number of health and resiliency topics. The
state has looked to ways to address the needs of local
community data on a broad number of topics and general
state tobacco control measures. However, because the
CDHS is mandated by Health and Safety Code to conduct
an evaluation of the in-school tobacco use prevention
education program, a separate tobacco specific survey
is required to obtain the necessary data on a number
of tobacco topics. In addition, there is a third survey
conducted by the Attorney General that obtains data
on ATOD and violence issues.
- See above. CDHS conducts an expanded YTS type survey
as part of its legislative mandate. The local schools
in conjunction with CDE conduct an YRBS type survey,
called the California Healthy Kids Survey. The AG conducts
a YRBS survey statewide that is used as a statewide
norm for the CHKS.
- There are countless surveys being conducted in the
- CDC recommendations are nice to use to help facilitate
solutions to the problems. Every state will have its
own unique problems. This is a constant topic among
the people who conduct YTS and is not new. Oregon arranged
a terrific solution in the late 90’s that took
lots of patience, time and money.
Contact David Cowling
with any questions.
- We have heard some concerns about too many tests in
schools, but so far have not been approached about eliminating
- The YRBS is conducted in odd years in Delaware High
Schools. It is paid by DOE. We pay for the YTS in even
years for high schools and middle schools from our CDC
- Our Department's Division of Substance Abuse &
Mental Health conducts what is called a school survey
(ATOD) every year for 5th, 8th, & 11th grades. Funding
comes from the MSA. All 3 surveys are contracted with
the University of Delaware's Center for Drug & Alcohol
- Further guidance and direction is always appreciated.
I would like to see the option of using the survey and
answer tool combined. The answers are recorded on the
same form as the questions which helps reduce marking
the wrong box on the separate answer sheet. The other
surveys conducted in the schools use this method. Since
the "school survey" is conducted at the same
time as the YTS this will help keep the administration
of the tests the same.
- In Iowa, we have had several conversations with our
partners at Dept of Ed, (DOE) about the need to combine
our efforts. DOE staff were in favor of working with
us together and combining the YRBS with YTS. In a teleconference,
with DASH and OSH staff (in March of 2004) we finalized
the survey tool, we were told by DASH, that this was
not a possibility to combine them. This was March, 2004.
Since that time, no discussions have occured that I
am aware of. The YRBS was conducted in Iowa, during
2005 with 11 questions that are exactly the same as
we ask on IYTS, 2004. The IA youth survey is getting
ready to be conducted in IA during 2006 by another Division
here at our Health Dept.
- IYTS 2006- will be conducted Fall, 2006 in Iowa public
schools, no private schools at this time. In tje early
phase of exploring conducting this survey online in
Iowa schools The Tobacco Division within Health Dept.
has it as a budget item and will coordinate it in Iowa
schools. IYRBS, 2006 - to be completed in Iowa again
in late 2006, (actual surveying starts Jan.07). We will
draw our school sample with Dept of Education. A local
contractor hired by DOE actually does all the work and
analysis. 11 questions on Tobacco usage, etc. are exactly
the same on IYTS and YRBS. The Summary report for this
is available to public, March 2006.
(IYS)- conducted in Iowa schools in Fall of 2005, not
repeated til Fall 2008. Proposed to do online in 2008
again. The Youth Survey conducted is a joint effort
conducted by The Iowa Department of Public Health's
Division of Health Promotion, Prevention, and Addictive
Behaviors, Iowa Department of Education, Office of Drug
Control Policy, Iowa Department of Human Rights, Criminal
and Juvenile Justice Planning and Statistical Analysis
Center, and Iowa Workforce Development. Early reports
they had 95% participation in schools. They have some
tobacco questions on this survey.
Another survey opportunity in Iowa--the Iowa Child and
Household Survey, a telephone survey conducted Fall
2005 by University of Iowa will survey approximately
1,100 households and ask a number of tobacco usage questions.
The Tobacco Control Division did pay a fee to have questions
included in this survey. Survey summary released in
Iowa in April, 2006.
- I am not aware of the PRIDE survey in Iowa.
- Yes, as school technology improves and financial resources
are harder to maintain , it is imperative that we work
with our state partners to conduct surveys in a collaborative
manner. Any future Tobacco surveys need to be conducted
online with support and guidance from CDC.
- Yes. School officials, the Dept of Education Coordinated
School Health Program, and Substance Abuse Program.
Schools are not happy with the number of interruptions
- YTS is paid for by the Tobacco Program and is administered
by us. The YRBS is paid for by Coordinated School Health
(KY Dept of Education) and is administered by a contractor
at the University of Kentucky. We did the 2004 YTS and
YRBS together in the Fall 2004. We chose to bring the
YTS back in house this year and do go back to early
in the year instead of fall.
- We are aware of at least three surveys conducted:
YTS, YRBS, and KIP. KIP is a Kentucky specific survey
designed by the Substance Abuse Program that gives school
level data back to the school principal. They feel that
is more valuable to them than YRBS and YTS. The questions
on tobacco use are not worded the same as YRBS and YTS.
It is more compatible to Monitoring the Future.
The Maine Centers for Disease Control (MCDC) as well as
the Maine tobacco control and prevention program, Partnership
For A Tobacco-Free Maine (PTM), partners closely with the
state level Department of Education (DOE) e.g. the MCDC
has shared a grant for Coordinated School Health Programs
(CSHP) between the two agencies for more than five years
and the MCDC funds positions in the DOE for Health Education
and has done so for many years. Also, PTM shares supervision
or administration of the Healthy Maine Partnership (HMP)
locally funded programs with the DOE. Starting in 2000,
an interdepartmental student health survey committee of
DOE and MCDC as well as Office of Substance Abuse (OSA)
program representatives began meeting to plan on the possibility
of coordinating surveys as a way to conserve resources.
Current Status of Surveys and Coordination
The committee was revitalized in March 2003, somewhat as
a result of the pressures on schools created by No Child
Left Behind legislation. This committee has been meeting
regularly (quarterly) since that time. The committee has
representatives from DOE’s Health Education Program,
CSHP, the YRBSS , from OSA, and from MCDC programs PTM,
Asthma, Epidemiology, and Teen and Young Adult Health. Recently
joining the committee are representatives from the Department
of Labor and from Communities for Children and Youth (a
non-profit). The current Commissioner of Education (state
highest post) has given full support to conducting one survey
in Maine schools. She has stated that she will not support
any agency’s doing their own survey in schools.
Maine currently conducts the YRBSS, supported by the CDC
and administered by the DOE. The Maine Drug and Alcohol
Use Survey is done by OSA. In 2004, PTM partnered with OSA
to conduct a joint survey and is doing the same combined
administration in 2005. The MYDAUS receives money from the
University of Washington (SDRG program) to administer the
survey. PTM contributes funds from the MSA. The Asthma program
has administered a Child Health Survey for 5th graders and
kindergarteners. These elementary level surveys were funded
in the past by the Asthma program but will be an MCDC project
in the next administration with several programs contributing
financial and in-kind assistance. These are the only state-level
and statewide student health surveys. Other organizations
outside of state government may be requesting to survey
Future Surveys and CDC Assistance
PTM will continue to work within the framework outlined
above. The DOE Commissioner as well as our State Health
Officer and the Office of Substance Abuse are clearly committed
to this process and have met with the committee to state
this. The YTS and the MYDAUS are being administered in one
survey in 2005, and it is assumed the same protocol will
be in place for 2007. The total combined survey (which will
include YRBSS questions as well as Communities for Children
questions) is planned to take place for the first time in
2009. The combined survey might have started sooner, but
OSA had a commitment (and funding) to conduct the survey
in the present manner until 2007.
PTM has found that the number of tobacco-related questions
asked in the current combined survey are fairly sufficient
to track indicators that are not covered in the YRBSS. (PTM
relies on the YRBSS for long-term surveillance.) One of
the advantages of the combined survey is a large sample
that provides information not possible with smaller sample
sizes. Although PTM cannot conduct a standardized YTS, we
could contribute core data for national comparison. The
surveys are being done with credible sampling procedures,
however, protocols may not be the same as for other YTS
states. The MCDC Epidemiology team has been part of this
committee from the beginning and are responsible for sampling.
They have sought assistance from national experts such as
Bill Karlsbeek. Having access to technical assistance at
CDC regarding sampling and weighting or other technical
questions might be helpful to support survey efforts to
collect credible data that will help many Maine programs
that address youth health issues.
- I have initiated some of these conversations. As coordinator
of our YTS, I am in touch with the schools we are trying
to recruit. I hear concerns about the amount of time
and pressure devoted to academic tests (taking and preparing).
We can’t do anything about that I also hear concerns
about the number of surveys schools are being asked
to give. Again, some of these requests are out of our
control, coming from universities and other organizations.
But we can do a better job of coordinating the requests
that are coming from within the health department and
perhaps from other state agencies as well. This pressure
felt by schools (to minimize surveys and focus on academic
testing) definitely affects our response rate. In 2005,
we did not quite meet the 60% overall response rate
that CDC would like to see.
- The MN Youth Tobacco Survey is administered by the
Department of Health. The 2000 and 2002 surveys were
paid for through the tobacco endowment set up with tobacco
lawsuit settlement money. The 2005 survey was funded
as part of the CDC grant to the Tobacco Prevention Program.
We do not do the YRBS. In some cases, local public health
agencies have done surveys in local schools. We don’t
know how often that happens.
- The major youth survey is the MN Student Survey, conducted
every 3 years (most recently in 2004). The MSS is a
comprehensive behavior, relationships and attitudes
survey. It is designed as a census of 6th, 9th, and
12th graders in public schools. In 2004, 88% of districts
participated. The “n” for all three grades
was about 130,000. There are only about 5-6 tobacco
questions. Because it is designed to be a census, most
school districts and counties can get their own data
tables. Local data is the major selling point that encourages
district participation. The survey is administered by
5 state agencies: education, health, human services,
public safety, and correctiosn. The first three of these
agencies provide the funding, gathered from internal
pots of state money.
- I think we need to have some broad conversations with
CDC and other states about this. All levels of government
have to do a better job of coordinating and paring down
their survey requests.
- Montana: We do not directly deal with
schools about YRBS or PNA so I don't have regular input
from schools or parents. We depend on the PNA for detailed
information about tobacco use, knowledge, and attitiudes
that isn't available from the YRBS, so we would be distressed
if it were suspended or merged with YRBS. MT does not participate
in the YTS. The Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program in
the Division of Chronic Disease Prevention contributes a
small $$ amount to the conduct of the PNA every other year.
One of the members of our Tobacco Advisory Board was involved
in administering the PNA at her local school. She reports
low participation rates (~25%) because the students were
told it was voluntary, that the survey took a long time,
that the students were given a lunch break in the middle
of the survey and were heard discussing their answers, and
that when she brought this to the attention of the administration,
no one seemed concerned. Certainly makes me a little anxious
about the quality of the data. It is not clear to me whether
this is a global problem with the survey or with administration
at a particular school.
- There have been discussions in Nebraska about combining
the various surveys - in particular there was some discussion
a few years ago about combining the YRBS and a survey
titled the Risk and Protective Factor Survey that is
a survey specifically geared at substance abuse and
is a survey recommended by the Nebraska substance abuse
program, and as I understand it, at the urging of SAMHSA.
Fortunately to date we have been able to demonstrate
the need for the YRBS because of the valuable trend
data as well as the fact that the YRBS survey is much
broader than simply substance abuse issues. But it does
seem the issue of a single massive survey resurfaces
- The Tobacco Free Nebraska Program, conducts the middle
school and highschool YTS in even-numbered years (atleast
when funding is stable). YRBS is conducted in odd-numbered
years and is generally a joint project between the Nebraska
Department of Education and the Nebraska Health and
Human Services Health Promotion Division.
- Nebraska received grant funding via the State Incentive
Cooperative Agreement (SICA) from SAMHSA - as I understand
it part of the requirement/ or atleast recommendation
from SAMHSA is that states collect community level data
on risk and protective factors. Hence many local communities
across the state have conducted this survey in the past
year. The survey is paid for by the state's substance
abuse prevention program - located in the Services Section
of the Nebraska Health and Human Services System.
- Any guidance/recommendations that CDC OSH or CDC DASH
could provide to SAMHSA, and to state substance abuse
programs to reiterate the importance of the YRBS and
the YTS would be very helpful.
- New Hampshire:
- CDC/OSH-NH TPCP pays for YTS; DOE and SAB Grant pays
- Unsure--In some locations TAPP is done.
- Oklahoma: In 2002 we coordinated administration
of the Oklahoma YTS [state, county, and school nurse program
samples], the National YTS and the Legacy ALTTURS. In 2005
we coordinated the YTS and YRBS as part of a 2 year coordination
plan with the Department of Mental Health and Substance
Abuse Services. I also again coordinated the three Oklahoma
YTS sets of samples as part of that coordination. I was
part of a panel at the National Conference in May on coordinated
surveys. The panel was put together by Kate Flint at OCR
Macro and also included Heather Ryan from CDC, Melissa Murray
from Florida, and Don Perry from Rhode Island. I would be
happy to talk to any state which is thinking about this
issue – Joyce
- We have and my initial reaction would be DON'T
DO IT!!!. When it was proposed in Oklahoma,
I did extensive research by talking to other states
and examining their instruments and found that it did
not meet anyone's needs well. In particular, I could
not find any state where the tobacco program got the
information they needed for program planning, implementation
and evaluation from a "one-size" fits all.
We had extensive discussions in Oklahoma and reached
agreement that we would work on a 2-year cycle. The
YTS and YRBS are administered in one year and the "Communities
That Care" survey is conducted in the alternative
year. We use coordinated sampling for the state random
samples and agreement that we will not conduct school
or community level surveys in schools which refuse to
participate if chosen for a state random sample. I will
be trying to bring in other interested parties as we
begin to talk about the next two year cycle. It is possible
to coordinate data gathered from multiple surveys. For
instance, we added two questions related to asthma at
the request of the asthma program. These questions meet
their needs and are complementary to the purpose of
our survey. More importantly, adding the questions did
not make our survey excessively long.
- We conduct the Youth Tobacco Survey, another part
of our agency [Family Health Services] conducts they
YRBS, and the Department of Mental Health and Substance
Abuse Services conducts the Prevention Needs Assessment
[Communities That Care type survey]. We use our CDC
core grant to pay the costs of survey administration
although we also get a fair amount of volunteer time.
I am not sure where the funds for YRBS come from although
I think it is CDC-DASH. They also obtain volunteer time
for some of the survey administration. As far as I know
DMHSAS uses their own funds but may have a grant. The
Department of Education is a partner for all three surveys
in that they encourage schools to participate and accept
data any of the three surveys for the required Safe
and Drug-Free Schools reporting.
- There are no other state-wide periodic surveys although
there are districts and projects which do use other
surveys. Some of these are paid for by grants, some
with state dollars, and some by school funds. There
are other units in the health department and other agencies
who are looking at the possibility of implementing such
surveys but they are very much in the beginning talking
- I am not sure what this question is asking. It would
strengthen our case to maintain the YTS as a separate
survey if we could say that CDC either requires and/or
strongly requires it. A set of joint protocols for at
least the YTS and the YRBS would help although that
does not mean that the exact same protocol has to be
used for both surveys. A set of joint protocols would
specify where there was a need for differences in protocols
and identify where they were the same. Because DASH
and OSH format their protocols in different ways, it
appears there are more differences than there really
are. It also would be useful to know where the protocols
can be flexible and where they should not be flexible.
This would help when working with colleagues who are
new to the game and so do not want to change a word
of anything they get from CDC.
- Yes. When conflicting survey agendas caused increasing
response rate problems in Utah school districts in 2001,
Utah State Agencies (Health, Education, and Substance
Abuse) formed an interagency survey coordination committee
to plan and coordinate school health and risk behavior
surveys in Utah public schools. The purpose of this
committee was to consolidate survey requests and develop
a survey plan that would minimize disruption of school
- Utah conducts the YTS and YRBS every other year in
odd years. Utah's Tobacco Prevention and Control Program
pays for the YTS (CDC grant). The YRBS is funded by
multiple health promotion and maternal and child health
program's at the Utah Department of Health.
- Utah's Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health
administers and pays for a risk and protective factor
survey (Prevention Needs Assessment.) This survey is
administered concurrently with the YTS and YRBS in grades
6, 8, 10, and 12.
- It would be helpful if CDC developed a shorter YTS
module that could be added to the YRBS. This would allow
us to administer YTS and YRBS questions without duplicating
questions and it would cut down on the required sample
- West Virginia: Collection of school student/
youth health initiative data is causing concern in WV. We
need specific direction as to what data will be considered
'required' in the future. The West Virginia Department of
Education is considering a combined survey in order to cut
down on the significant time constraints required surveying
has on classroom time. Appropriate agencies, including the
DOE Federal level folks, need to meet and collectively determine
guidelines and directives for states.
- Yes. On-going concerns, planned meetings among DOE
and DTP, others
- YRBS - Some federal support and funding
YTS - DTP is more in favor of continuing this survey.
WV has also done the PRIDE Survey in past years (being
- As above.