YRBS is a survey of 9-12 grade students administered by the Montana Office of Public Instruction through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on odd number years. It is conducted biennially the last week of February in odd-numbered years in Montana high schools, middle schools, non-public accredited, and alternative high schools. Questions focus on risk behaviors from 6 health areas: unintentional injuries and violence, tobacco use, alcohol and other drug abuse, sexual behaviors, unhealthy dietary behaviors, and physical inactivity. Data is weighted, allowing direct comparison of states. State and national data is available through the CDC, although county level data may be available upon request by contacting the state YRBS coordinator.
What is PNA?
It is developed and administered by ISA/ Pride Surveys (a survey research and evaluation services firm) and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services - Addictive and Mental Disorders Division and has been administered throughout Montana since 1998. For schools agreeing to participate in the Montana survey, all students in grades 8, 10, and 12 are asked to complete the survey. Schools also have the option to have all students in grades 7, 9, and 11 participate if they so choose. The survey collects information on risky behaviors associated with the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, such as school dropout, delinquency, and violence - that can result in injury or impede positive development among youth. The survey also collects information on risk and protective factors, which are attitudes and opinions research has shown to be highly correlated with these risky behaviors. Weighting of data began in 2020, improving representativeness of the sample. Results cannot be used for comparison with other states.
MTIBRS consists of data reported by Montana police departments and sheriff’s offices. The data is used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to look at crim trends across the country.
NOTE: Crime data is not considered representative of changes in substance use in an area. Changes in arrests may reflect changes in criminal behavior, officer patrolling, or reporting procedures.
For example, an increase in arrests for possession of an illicit substance may reflect
(1) changes in other criminal activities, such as theft,
(2) an increase in officers in areas where the substance is exchanged, or
(3) a new procedure for reporting the specific substance.
Due to these confounding factors, it is not considered to reflect an increase in the exchange or use of the drug for the area. Results are useful for comparing crime activity but should not be interpreted as changes in substance use.