219311 Increasing Youth Tobacco Survey (YTS) Response Rates: Could Academic Term Be A Factor?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monique Young, MPH , Information Systems, Northrop Grumman, Atlanta, GA
Charlotte Steeh , Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Atlanta, GA
Ashley Anne Arthur, MPH , Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion / Office on Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Increasingly, state departments of health that administer the Youth Tobacco Survey (YTS) have faced increasing resistance from principals, largely due to the testing demands of the No Child Left Behind legislation. We wanted to provide some practical guidelines to states to help them maintain or improve their overall response rates. Previous research had detected seasonal patterns in face-to-face surveys of adolescents. This finding suggested that the school term in which the survey was administered might affect response rates to a self-administered survey. Preliminary analyses of data from the 2005-2006 YTS indicated average overall high school response rates were slightly higher in the Fall than in the Spring.

To test the hypothesis that response rates across the three response rates (student, school, and overall) calculated for YTS data would be higher in the Fall than in the Spring, we analyzed 9 years of YTS data (2000-2008). While term (Fall or Spring) did not have a significant effect on either the overall or school response rates, it did have a significant effect on the student response rate. Results indicated that student response rates were lower in the Fall semester than in the Spring semester—the opposite of our hypothesis. Of the other independent variables included in the analysis, only school level (Middle or High) had a significant effect on the student and overall response rates.

The results of this study were not consistent with our hypothesis. Thus, the differences in response rates could not be attributed to variation by school term alone.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the effects of academic term on Youth Tobacco Survey (YTS) response rates.

Keywords: Survey, Tobacco

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am part of the Youth Tobacco Survey technical assistance team, contractor for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Office on Smoking and Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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