In October 2018, middle and high school students in Deer Park Schools will once again participate in Washington’s Healthy Youth Survey. This survey is a state-wide effort to measure health risk behaviors that contribute to morbidity, mortality, and social problems among youth in Washington State. These behaviors include alcohol, marijuana, tobacco and other drug use; behaviors that result in intentional and unintentional injuries (e.g., violence); dietary behaviors and physical activity; mental health; school climate; and related risk and protective factors. In the previous administration in 2016 (the 15th such survey), over 230,000 students from all 39 counties participated in the Healthy Youth Survey.

Design, administration, and analysis of the survey is a collaborative effort of the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Department of Health, the Department of Social and Health Service’s Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery, and Liquor and Cannabis Board. The Healthy Youth Survey provides important information about the health of adolescents in our state; county prevention coordinators, community mobilization coalitions, community public health and safety networks, and others use this information to guide policy and programs that serve youth.

The questionnaire includes items about demographics; alcohol, marijuana, tobacco and other drug use; health concerns (nutrition and fitness, health conditions and health care, behaviors related to intentional/unintentional injuries, mental health); school climate; quality of life; and risk and protective factors (community, school, peer and individual, and family). Optional survey items include questions about sexual orientation, behavior, and abuse. More information is available on the 2018 Question & Answer Fact Sheet.

Survey questions come from standardized instruments that have been used over multiple years and tested for validity. New survey questions are field tested with youth to make sure they understand the questions correctly. Research shows that surveys like the HYS can give valid results if youth are given a safe and confidential environment to take the survey.  Questionnaires from past surveys can be accessed using the following link:  Healthy Youth Survey – Archived Questionnaires. Information and reports from past surveys (filtered by ESD or by County) are available using this link:  Healthy Youth Survey – Data/Reports. Additionally, information regarding rationale and description of survey content is available for download HERE.

Copies of the 2018 survey are available for viewing at Deer Park Middle School and Deer Park High School. Questions about survey administration should be directed to building principals or to Deer Park’s lead nurse, Juli Begley, who can be reached at 468-3512.

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