DECA releases youth risk behavior survey data

DECA releases youth risk behavior survey data The South Dakota Department of Education and Cultural Affairs (DECA) has released South Dakota Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) trend data results for the years 1991-2001. South Dakota trends are compared to national trends.

South Dakota is one of three states that has weighted trend data for the years 1991-2001. In order to qualify as weighted data, a survey must have an overall response rate of at least 60 percent. DECA has been able to achieve this rate through cooperation from local school district administrators, teachers, parents, and students.

Since 1990, DECA has cooperated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a nationwide effort to assess the priority health risk behaviors established during youth that result in the greatest amount of mortality, morbidity, and social problems during both youth and adulthood.

The priority health risk behaviors assessed fall into six categories:

* behaviors that result in unintentional and intentional injuries,

* tobacco use,

* alcohol and other drug use,

* sexual behaviors that result in HIV infection, other sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies,

* dietary behavior, and

* physical activity.

A random sample of approximately 1,500 South Dakota students in grades 9-12 completed the survey every two years on the odd years.

The results from this survey are used to:

* assess whether the pattern of high risk behaviors among South Dakota adolescents increases, decreases, or remains the same over time, and

* helps focus comprehensive school health curricula, teacher training programs, and policies on categories of health risk behaviors that comprise the leading causes of mortality, morbidity, and social problems of students in South Dakota.

State officials, policy makers, local service providers and school districts rely heavily on the results of this survey for assessing and tracking the risk behaviors of South Dakota youth.

The YRBS was cooperatively developed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local education department representatives.

To view the trend data YRBS document, log on to

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