Youth Risk Behavior Survey Overview

  • The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) was developed in 1990 by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Boston Public Schools (BPS) has administered the High School YRBS since 1993 and the Middle School YRBS since 2013. The YRBS is used to examine health risk behaviors that are linked to the leading causes of death and disease and to monitor changes in those behaviors over time.

    Boston YRBS data are used to create local and state-level estimates of youth social-emotional well-being, substance use, sexual health, violence, injury, physical activity, nutrition and hunger, and other health risk behaviors. These data are a vital resource to help guide decision-making and resource allocation for effective prevention and control programs for schools and communities.

    The YRBS results help policymakers, school administrators, social service workers, and health personnel in a variety of ways:

    • To develop policy
    • To plan and improve youth-based health programs
    • To determine existing health needs in order to develop effective intervention programs
    • To provide the most recent and updated information for grant submissions
    • To improve the development of classroom lessons geared towards reducing health risk behaviors among adolescents

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