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Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)


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Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)

Years Survey Included Sexual and Gender Minority 
(SGM)-related Questions

2015-Present

Two young men at a party kissing

Survey Description

The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) monitors six types of health-risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death and disability among youth and adults, including:

  • Behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence
  • Sexual behaviors related to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection
  • Alcohol and other drug use
  • Tobacco use
  • Unhealthy dietary behaviors
  • Inadequate physical activity

YRBSS also measures the prevalence of obesity and asthma and other priority health-related behaviors plus sexual identity and sex of sexual contacts. YRBSS includes a national school-based survey conducted by CDC and state, territorial, tribal, and local surveys conducted by state, territorial, and local education and health agencies and tribal governments.

SGM-related questions are in the “sexual behavior” section on page 16 of the 2017 National YRBS survey.

Survey Sample Population

The YRBSS population consists of representative samples of students typically in grades 9-12.

Survey Mode

The YRBSS survey occurs every two years using a self-administered Paper-and-Pencil Instrument (PAPI), usually during the spring semester of the school year as they are school-based.

SGM-Related Survey Questions

Sexual Identity

(Q67)

Which of the following best describes you?

Heterosexual (straight) Gay or Lesbian
Bisexual Not Sure
Question History: This is the only version of the question that has been used.

Sexual Attraction

There are currently no questions asked in this category.

Sexual Behavior

(Q66)

During your life, with whom have you had sexual contact?

I have never had sexual contact Females
Males Females and males
Question History: This is the only version of the question that has been used.

Gender Identity

(Q2)

What is your sex?

Female Male
Question History: This is the only version of the question that has been used.

Household Relationships

There are currently no questions asked in this category.

Response Rates

In 2011, among the state surveys, school response rates range from 73% to 100%, student response rates range from 60% to 88%, and overall response rates range from 60% to 84%. Overall response rate is: (no. of participating schools / no. of eligible sampled schools) x (no. of usable questionnaires / no. of eligible students sampled). Among the large urban school district surveys, school response rates range from 84% to 100%, student response rates range from 61% to 86%, and overall response rates range from 61% to 86%. Among the territorial surveys, school response rates range from 97% to 100%, student response rates range from 75% to 85%, and overall response rates range from 75% to 85%. Among the tribal surveys, school response rates are 78% and 100%, student response rates are 77% and 83%, and overall response rates are 65% and 77%.

Survey Links

Questionnaires

The questionnaires may be found by clicking on the following link: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/yrbs/questionnaires.htm

Data

A guide is available that provides information on how to analyze YRBS sexual minority data and it may be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/yrbs/pdf/2015/2015_analyze_sexual_minority_data.pdf

Links to the data may be found by clicking on the following link: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/yrbs/data.htm

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS). (2016). https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/yrbs/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Methodology of the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System — 2013. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/yrbs/methods.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) Overview. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/yrbs

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