2014 Maryland YRBS Full Report
The report for the 2014 Youth Risk Behavior Survey results.
The Youth Tobacco Survey (YTS) started in 2000 and provided
data on tobacco use behaviors of both middle and high school youth for
every county and Baltimore City. The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) started in 2005 and provided
data on a broad range of risk behaviors of high school youth only, and
only for the State as a whole.
The YRBS/YTS collects data on a broad range of youth tobacco and other
risk behaviors of both middle and high school youth for every county and
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed the
core questions of the survey and all 50 states ask those questions in
their various student health surveys, predominately through the YRBS (47
The survey focuses on risk behaviors among youth that cause the most
important health problems in Maryland. The data collected are essential
to both the State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) and the community
health improvement plans being developed and implemented in the counties
and Baltimore City.
State and local agencies in collaboration with numerous community
organizations use the data collected to monitor, evaluate, and change
school and community-health programs intended to reduce the number of
youth who engage in risky health behaviors. Many agencies and
organizations support this survey initiative (see 'What organizations support the survey?).
The YRBS/YTS is sponsored by the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) in collaboration with the Maryland State Department
of Education (MSDE). It an integral part of Maryland’s Comprehensive
Cancer Control Plan, the State Health Improvement Process (SHIP), the
Community Health Improvement Processes (CHIP) occurring in many
counties, and the Managing for Results (MFR) process.
Yes. Some questions are sensitive. AIDS, HIV infection, and other
sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are major health problems. The only
way to learn if youth are at risk of getting AIDS or other STDs is to
ask questions bout these behaviors. Attempted suicide, tobacco use,
alcohol and other drug use, and weapon carrying may also be sensitive
topics. Questions are written in a direct but sensitive way.
Students are advised verbally and in writing before starting the survey that they do not need to answer any questions that make them uncomfortable.
If parents are concerned that their child would not feel that they
could leave answers to questions that make them uncomfortable blank, or
simply do not wish to permit their child to participate in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey/ Youth Tobacco Survey, they may “opt-out” their child.
Appropriate forms are available at the office of every school selected
by the CDC.
No.The CDC has found no evidence that health risk behaviors
can be changed simply be reading a question about them. Trend data from
other states that have been asking such questions for a long time shows a
decrease in such behaviors, not an increase.
Yes.A copy of the survey was sent to your school and should be
available to review at the school offices. In addition, a copy of the
survey can be accessed on the Internet at the following address:http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/ohpetup/Pages/YTRBS.aspx
No.The survey does not include any kind of physical test or exam, and takes just one class period to complete.
No. The survey has been designed to protect your child’s privacy.
Students are instructed verbally and then again in writing not to put
their name on the questionnaire or the answer sheet. The survey data
collected is totally anonoymous. Data will not be reported for
Your child’s school and classroom were randomly selected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not select
individual children to participate in the survey. The CDC first
randomly selects schools with grades 6-8 or 9-12 to participate. Second,
the CDC randomly selects classrooms within the selected schools. All
children within each selected classroom may participate, subject only to
parental opt-out and privacy constraints. Using this process, every
child within a school level has an equal chance of being selected. No
information about an individual child is ever given to the CDC, a state
agency or contractor, and none is ever collected.
No. Although school districts, schools, and classes are required by
statute to participate in the YRBS/YTS, no child is required to take the
Even if a parent permits a child to take the survey, any child may
indicate that they do not wish to take the survey either prior to the
time when the survey is to be administered or at the time the survey is
In addition, any parent may notify the school that they wish to have
their child “opted-out” of the survey. Parental opt-out forms were sent
home at the beginning of the school year at selected schools, and remain
available at the offices of selected schools and online.
Yes. Although no child is required to participate in the survey,
school districts, schools, and classes are required by statute to
participate in the YRBS/YTS. Participation of every school district,
school, and classroom selected by the CDC ensures that the data
collected will be reliable and sufficiently powerful to support the uses
at both the local and state levels.
While a very small number of students do not answer the questions
honestly, most students do tell the truth. The CDC and the State of
Maryland has every confidence in the validity and reliability of the
survey data collected by this survey because:
For example, if a student reports that he/she had never smoked a
cigarette, but also reports having smoked a cigarette during the past 30
days, the CDC excludes both responses from analysis.
The survey is supported by the Maryland State Department of
Education, the Maryland Department of Health, along
with local Maryland school districts and health department.
In addition, the core YRBS questions used in most of the survey were
developed by people from more than 100 state and local health and
education agencies and 19 federal agencies.
A number of national organizations support the YRBS core questions and survey, including the:
201 W. Preston Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-2399
(410) 767-6500 or 1-877-463-3464