Indiana University Bloomington

Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of frequently asked questions about the Indiana Youth Survey. If you have additional questions about the survey after reading through this list, please contact our Survey Coordinator using the information on the Contact Us page.

Q: Why is it necessary to schedule the survey during a "ten-week sampling window?”
A: A single sampling time frame is required for two reasons. First, since drug-use rates among adolescents increase rapidly from year to year, comparability of data makes it essential that all participating schools are surveyed at the same time. For example, marijuana use more than doubles between 7th and 8th grade. If one school was to survey in April and another was surveyed in October, the rates could not be aggregated for statewide use, and would make any comparisons with state and national rates less reliable. Second, a single sampling time frame greatly reduced the cost of the survey, allowing us to more efficiently use staff. Much of the detail work on local reports is done by doctoral students who work only during the summer. Although schools are not charged for the surveys or standard reports, the project is very expensive, and the costs to the state would more than double if year-round surveys were permitted.
Q. Why do we need to schedule a survey date before or at least two weeks after our Spring Break?
A. Unfortunately, spring break has become a peak time for binge drinking among Indiana high school students, particularly among those who travel out-of-state. Since the binge drinking question on the survey asks about alcohol use in the two weeks prior to the survey date, scheduling your survey during the two weeks immediately following your spring break would skew your data.
Q. How will my local report be provided?
A. To protect the confidentiality of your data, the IPRC will provide a username and password to the designated contact person. The local report will be available on the INYS website by September of each survey year.
Q. Can we survey only certain grades at our school?
A. School corporations may select the grades to be surveyed, however, national comparison data are collected only for grades 8, 10, and 12. There is no national comparison data available for grades 6, 7, 9, and 11. We recommend that you include grades 8, 10, and 12 in your plan. We will be happy to survey all grades, but we advise against using only those grades that have no national comparison norms.
Q. Our school policies require written parental consent to participate in any survey. What do we do?
A. Confirm your school policy with your attorneys. If you need to use active parental consent, begin early, and use follow-up calls, etc. Some schools use active parental consent and obtain enough signed consent forms to allow for meaningful data. To ensure scientific validity, it is important to obtain at least 90% of the students participate in the survey. Contact the IPRC for technical assistance if you have problems obtaining enough parent signatures. To control costs, we insist that you have enough signatures “in-hand” before we ship the blank survey forms to you