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YRBS Fact Sheet - Randomized Survey

Q. Why is the survey being done?

A. The Oklahoma State Department of Health will use the results to help measure how many youth practice health-risk behaviors. The survey results also will be used to create school health programs to help reduce these behaviors.

Q. Are sensitive questions asked?

A. Yes. Some questions are sensitive. To help solve health problems among our youth, we must first understand them. HIV is a major health problem. Sexual intercourse and injecting illegal drugs are behaviors that increase the risk of getting HIV. The only way to learn if youth are at risk of getting HIV is to ask questions about these behaviors. Attempted suicide, tobacco use, alcohol and other drug use, and weapon carrying are also sensitive issues. Therefore, survey questions are written in a direct but sensitive way.

Q. Will students’ names be used or linked to the surveys?

A. No. The survey has been designed to protect your child’s privacy. Teachers are not involved directly. Students do not put their name on the survey. When students finish the survey, they place the survey in an envelope and seal it shut.

Q. Do students take the survey more than once to see how their behaviors change?

A. No. Each year a new sample of schools and students is picked. Students who take part one year cannot be tracked because their names are not on the survey.

Q. How was my child picked to be in the survey?

A. Fifty schools from around the state were randomly selected to participate in the survey. Then, among participating schools, classes were randomly selected to participate. 

Q. How long does it take to fill out the survey? Does the survey include a physical test?

A. One class period is needed to fill out the written survey. The survey does not include a physical test or exam.

Q. Who supports this survey?

A. This survey is supported by many state organizations interested in the health of youth. Oklahoma State Department of Education, Oklahoma PTA, Cooperative Council Oklahoma School Administration, Oklahoma State School Boards Association, and other school districts that have previously participated in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey have given letters of support. It is also supported by many national organizations. People from over 100 state and local health and education agencies and 19 federal agencies helped develop the survey.

Contact Information: 
Thad Burk, MPH
Child and Adolescent Health Epidemiologist

MCH Assessment
Oklahoma State Department of Health
1000 NE 10th St, Room 810

Oklahoma City, OK 73117-1299

Phone: (405) 271-6761 E-mail: Thad Burk

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