Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)

Topic/focus: Behavior
Year(s): 1991 - 2011 (every two years)
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Study and sample characteristics: Over 1.7 million high school students
Universe: United States children in grades 9 - 12
Variables: Over 200
Access: Publically available to download
Cost: Free
Key web links: Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)
Primary Institutional Contact: EDRC Coordinator (

Summary: The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) monitors six types of health-risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death and disability among youth and adults, including: 1) Behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence, 2) Sexual behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection, 3) Alcohol and other drug use, 4) Tobacco use, 5) Unhealthy dietary behaviors, and 6) Inadequate physical activity. YRBSS also measures the prevalence of obesity and asthma among youth and young adults. YRBSS includes a national school-based survey conducted by CDC and state, territorial, tribal, and local surveys conducted by state, territorial, and local education and health agencies and tribal governments.