About YRBS

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBS)

The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBS) was developed by the Division of Adolescent and School Health, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 1990 to monitor priority health risk behaviors that contribute markedly to the leading causes of death, disability, and social problems among youth and adults in the United States.  These behaviors, often established during childhood and early adolescence, include:

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

The YRBSS was designed to:

  • Determine the prevalence of health risk behaviors;
  • Assess whether health risk behaviors increase, decrease, or stay the same over time;
  • Examine the co-occurrence of health risk behaviors;
  • Provide comparable data among subpopulations of youth;
  • Monitor progress toward achieving the Healthy People 2010 objectives and other program indicators.

San Francisco Unified School District has taken part in the YRBSS since 1991. The District data are used to monitor the health related behaviors of San Francisco’s youth, guide program planning, and evaluate some of the District’s school-based health programs. In addition, the District developed a supplemental survey in concert with ETR Associates, its evaluation contractor, to collect data on additional safety variables in order to gain a more in-depth student perspective on school climate issues.  This supplemental survey was administered with the Youth Risk Behavior Survey to the same students.
The Youth Risk Behavior Survey is administered to a random sample of classes at the middle and high school levels every other year. The average sample size across the years is approximately 2,000 students per survey.


View survey results for CHKS and YRBS



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