The statewide, randomized YRBS is conducted biennially on odd-numbered years. Fifty schools from around the state are randomly selected to participate in the survey. The sample is selected using a two-stage sampling design. Schools are first selected for participation based on probability proportional to enrollment. Classes are then selected from each school using systematic equal probability sampling with a random start. When response rates are sufficient, the sample is weighted to be representative of Oklahoma public high school students in grades 9 through 12 based on the demographic distribution of the enrolled student population provided by the Oklahoma State Department of Education. Additional information about methods and data standards is available here.
The YRBS is a cross-sectional study; therefore, any measured associations reflect one point in time and do not imply a causal relationship. These data are representative of public school students in grades 9 through 12 in Oklahoma. Adolescents who attend private institutions, home-schooled, or do not attend any school are not represented. There is potential under-reporting of risk behaviors by students participating in the YRBS. Despite efforts to conduct the YRBS in such a manner as to preserve confidentiality, some students may not report events if they feel their answers will in some way identify them. Furthermore, students read and interpret the questions and form their answers without any external assistance; therefore, students may have different interpretations of the YRBS questions and response options.