- The Facts
- Our Efforts
In Washington, multiple state agencies have been organizing and implementing statewide surveys of youth health behavior since 1988. The surveys have been based on two different national surveys: Monitoring the Future Survey (MTF), supported by the National Institute of Drug Abuse and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). In 1995 the Communities that Care (CTC) survey, developed by the University of Washington, became an important component of the survey effort, and more recently, the Youth Tobacco Survey (YTS) was incorporated.
These survey efforts reflect a growing need for data to support planning and evaluation of science-based prevention and health promotion programs. While these surveys have differed in content and administration, questions related to substance use have been relatively constant, thus providing state-level information about trends in youth substance use beginning in 1988. Other health behaviors have been measured more sporadically, and the combined survey effort provides valuable insight to the health of Washington youth.
The Healthy Youth Survey is administered in the fall of even-numbered years. Results are available the following spring. Most state agency planning cycles are based around community and school groups using the most updated HYS information to establish priorities for programming.
To better coordinate survey efforts and minimize the burden on schools, state agencies administer only one student survey every two years. The agencies formed a Joint Survey Planning Committee to develop a coordinated survey process. The goals for the continuing collaborative effort are to:
To achieve these goals, the survey must:
The Joint Survey Planning Committee, with input from an advisory body made up of key constituents, decided to plan for one survey every other year. Key features of the plan are listed here. For more details on the administration of the Healthy Youth Survey, see Survey Administration in the Technical Notes.)