YRBS Use of Data

The Nebraska YRBS is administered and used jointly by the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS). Since the YRBS is the only survey in Nebraska that provides state level estimates for high school students related to a variety of health topics, it is extremely important to the public health work in the state. Descriptions of some of the ways that the YRBS has been useful are listed below:

  • NDE and NDHHS have utilized the YRBS data to monitor changes over time in health risk behavior, strengthen state and local grant applications, plan more effective youth prevention programs at the state level, and provide a standardized long-term mechanism to chart progress in reducing youth health risk behaviors. The data has enabled NDE and NDHHS to access federal grants in excess of millions of dollars to assist local schools and communities in developing health-enhancing policies and programs for youth, to provide funding to schools and communities to address health initiatives in their communities, and to provide statewide professional development opportunities on health-enhancing programs for youth.

  • It is a useful tool for monitoring the national education goals focusing on safe, disciplined, and drug-free schools and it provides data relevant to two of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) data collection requirements: a) Title IV-21stCentury Schools, Part A-Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, Sec. 4108, and b) Title IV-21st Century Schools, Part B-21st Century Community Learning Centers, Sec. 4201, Purpose; Definitions., Sec. 4203, State Application, and Sec. 4205, Local Activities.
  • It has been used to monitor 21 Critical Health Objectives that represent the most serious health issues among young people established by the National Initiative to Improve Adolescent Health (NIAH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Grounded in Healthy People (HP) 2010 (the nations’ health goals and objectives that are established every ten years), the 21 Critical Objectives were selected from among 107 objectives identified in the HP 2010 document as essential for adolescents and young people ages 10 to 24.

Nebraska schools and communities have also utilized the YRBS in the following capacities:
  • Educational programs for their Coordinated School Health initiatives and Community Intervention Programs (SCIP) have been developed based on YRBS findings.

  • Peer Mediation Teams have been developed to address violence, sexual behaviors, and drugs in schools.

  • School guidance counselors and principals have used YRBS data during student/parent evening assemblies. During these assemblies, YRBS data are shared with parents and students as they promote and discuss the need for good communication between parents and their children. Typically, the parents then use the information to decide how, as individual families, they can help their children, who have to deal with these difficult issues on a daily basis (e.g., drugs, alcohol, violence, sexual pressures, gangs).

  • YRBS data have been used for their Coordinated School Health initiatives, guidance counselors, FCS teachers, health/physical education teachers, school nurses, and health departments in establishing or helping to establish school curriculum objectives.

  • State and community health educators have shared YRBS data at national, state, and community health conferences and events, including community health fairs and presentations to school personnel, parents, and students.

  • Some teachers have utilized the YRBS data in classroom instruction. For example, math teachers have utilized the YRBS data to discuss data collection and analysis, including how to run frequencies, make comparisons between groups, interpret trends, and display results through graphing techniques. In addition, health education teachers have used the YRBS data in their classes to discuss the current health issues facing youth and to compare current levels of healthy and unhealthy behaviors.

  • Nebraska schools and communities have utilized the YRBS data to develop new and strengthen existing health promotion and disease prevention programs as well as access funds for many grants, a few of which are listed below: 

    • Carol M. White Physical Education grants

    • Team Nutrition grants

    • Nebraska Dairy Council (Fuel Up to Play 60 and milk machine) grants

    • Tobacco Free School/Community grants

    • HIV/STD/Teen Pregnancy Prevention Education grants

    • Nutrition/Fresh Fruit and Vegetable grants

    • Safe Routes to Schools grants

    • Community Learning Center grants

    • Maternal and Child Health Care grants

    • Community Health Endowment grants

    • Community Health Improvement grants