CRDG Continues Public Health Research Collaboration

CRDG’s Susan Saka has been collaborating with the Hawai‘i Departments of Education and Health since 1993 to document and record trends in behavior among middle and high school students. The Hawai‘i School Health Survey, which brings the Youth Risk Behavior Survey and the Hawai‘i Youth Tobacco Survey together into a combined effort, is part of a nationwide effort coordinated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In Hawai‘i, the project is guided by the Hawai‘i School Health Survey committee, which is made up of representatives from the Department of Education, the Department of Health, the Hawai‘i Tobacco Prevention & Control Trust Fund, and the University of Hawai‘i. The survey is administered to Hawai‘i public school students in odd numbered years. The even numbered years are then spent analyzing and reporting on the data as well as planning for the next survey.

The 2012 report, titled Results of the 2011 Hawai‘i State and Counties Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (YRBS) and Cross- Year Comparisons, reported on the 2011 results at the state level, as it had done in past years, and also at the county level in response to increased interest in having more localized data. The countylevel section of the comprehensive report identified areas where county results showed a statistically significant difference from the statewide data. In addition to the comprehensive report, county-level reports in the form of a brochure were produced to help distribute the data in an easily useable form to schools and other agencies.

Simultaneous with reporting data from the previous survey, Saka and her team were preparing for the next year by revising questionnaire items, producing the 2013 surveys, coordinating with schools for the survey to be administered, and getting the parent materials translated into the fourteen languages the state uses for official correspondence.