Maryland Youth Risk Behavior Survey

Students in randomly selected classes in 361 middle and high schools across the state of Maryland will be asked to voluntarily participate in the biannual Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS).  Schools selected to participate will administer the survey on various dates through the end of March.  In Frederick County, the state selected all ten of our high schools and ten of our middle schools to participate.

The YRBS was first conducted in Maryland in 2005 and is sponsored by Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) in collaboration with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).  The YRBS findings are used by MSDE, educators, state and local agencies, businesses, students, parents, and others to develop and refine initiatives targeted at improving the health and well-being of Maryland youth.

Youth Tobacco Risk Behavior Survey is a survey that provides data on a broad range of risk behaviors of both middle and high school youth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed the core questions of the survey. The paper and pencil survey lasts approximately 45 minutes.

The survey’s multiple-choice questions are presented in a straightforward and sensitive manner.

Questions (which are answered anonymously) focus on several topics including bullying and harassment, protective factors (such as helmet and seatbelt use), homelessness, depression and mental health, physical activity and nutrition, substance abuse, and sexual behaviors.

The survey has been designed to protect students’ privacy. Students are instructed verbally and then again in writing not to put their name on the questionnaire or the answer sheet. The survey data collected is totally anonymous. Data will not be reported for individual schools.

Completing the survey is voluntary; students and/or their parents have the option of opting out.  If students are uncomfortable answering specific questions, they can leave them blank.  Parents who do not wish their children to participate in the survey may indicate so by completing a Parental “Opt Out” Form which students selected to participate will bring home next week (a sample of the opt-out form is available on this Web page).

If you have questions or need additional information, please e-mail


Middle School Permission Form

High School Permission Form

MD Youth Risk Behavior Survey Brochure