MIYHS: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey?

The purpose of the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey (MIYHS) is to assess behaviors, risks, and protective factors among Maine students in grades 6 through 12. Risk and protective factors may influence a persons decision whether or not to engage in particular behaviors.

What schools are eligible to participate in the MIYHS?

Public schools with students in any of grades 6 through 12 were eligible to participate in the MIYHS. Alternative schools and private, non-sectarian schools with 60% or more publicly-funded students were also eligible.

How do I know that the MIYHS was answered truthfully?

The MIYHS protocol are designed to protect student confidentiality, so there is no advantage to the student in giving false information. The MIYHS does not ask for the student's name or birthday, and reporting by racial or ethnic group is strictly limited; data are not reported on schools or individual grades when fewer than 20 students in that school or grade participated in the survey.

The MIYHS also uses the methodology similar to the national Youth risk Behavior Survey, which includes checking the database for outliers and inconsistencies. National research has also shown that student truthfulness is comparative to that of adults. For more on the methodology click here.

Will the questions on the MIYHS satisfy my Drug-Free Communities Grant requirements?
Yes, although we don’t recommend making comparisons to previous years’ MYDAUS or YRBS results due to methodological differences.  The 30-day use questions were taken from the YRBS. Previously, the Drug Free Community (DFC) core measures required age of onset measures.  The youngest option for “age first used” is “<= 8” rather than “<=10”; this would lower the average age at first use if a sufficient number of students started using at <=8 or 9.   Age of onset is no longer a core measure for DFC.  Also, not all of these questions were on the 5th/6th grade survey, which was offered to a random sample of schools. If the 6th grade results had been combined with other grades in previous applications, the results from the MIYHS won’t be comparable.
For 2013 MIYHS we made sure to include questions closely matching the wording for the new DFC core measures for the middle school and high school surveys.  Below is a table of the DFC core measures by substance.  The table shows the core measures can be reportable at the school and/or county level.


High School

Alcohol

Tobacco

Marijuana

Prescription Drugs

30 day Use

School

School

School

School

Perception of Risk

School

School

School

School

Perception of Parental Disapproval

School

School

School

School

Perception of Peer Disapproval

School

n/a

School

County

Middle School

Alcohol

Tobacco

Marijuana

Prescription Drugs

30 day Use

School

School

School

School

Perception of Risk

County

School

School

County

Perception of Parental Disapproval

School

School

School

n/a

Perception of Peer Disapproval

n/a

n/a

County

n/a

 

MYDAUS: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Maine Youth Drug and Alcohol Use Survey/Youth Tobacco Survey?

The purpose of the Maine Youth Drug and Alcohol Use Survey/Youth Tobacco Survey (MYDAUS/YTS) is to assess the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, and engagement in related anti-social behaviors among Maine students in grades 6 through 12. The MYDAUS also measures the risk and protective factors found in the student's social environment which influence his/her decision whether or not to engage in these prohibited behaviors.

When were questions from the Youth Tobacco Survey included in the MYDAUS?

In 2004, the MYDAUS and the Youth Tobacco Survey (YTS) were merged to lessen the burden that multiple surveys pose for schools. So that the combined survey could still be completed in one class period, questions were dropped from both of the original surveys. Due to different criteria used in defining erroneous or untruthful responses, the YTS results available on the MYDAUS website could be somewhat different from the results for the same questions published by the Partnership for a Tobacco-Free Maine.

What schools are eligible to participate in the MYDAUS/YTS?

Public schools with students in any of grades 6 through 12 were eligible to participate in the MYDAUS/YTS. Alternative schools and private, non-sectarian schools with 60% or more publicly-funded students were also eligible.

How do I know that the MYDAUS/YTS was answered truthfully?

First, the MYDAUS/YTS protocol and reporting conventions were designed to protect student confidentiality, so there is no advantage to the student in giving false information. For instance, on the day of the survey, monitors are asked to remain at the front of the room, and completed surveys are placed in envelopes that are then sealed. The MYDAUS/YTS does not ask for the student's name or birthday, and reporting by racial or ethnic group is strictly limited; data are not reported on schools or individual grades when fewer than 20 students in that school or grade participated in the survey.

Secondly, the MYDAUS protocol includes running an "honesty profile" before the results are compiled. This includes checking the database for surveys indicating substance use that is impossibly high. Statewide, about 4% of the surveys are excluded each year because they are considered untruthful.

How can my school district use the MYDAUS/YTS results?

Schools and school districts participating in the MYDAUS/YTS have access to their web-based reports if 20 or more students participated (this 20-student limit was initiated to protect student confidentiality). County, regional and state reports are also available for comparison. The data from these reports can be used for planning and evaluating substance abuse and violence prevention programs, and can be used in grant applications. OSA recommends that once "trouble spots" are identified, schools focus their resources in these areas using science-based prevention programs (see The MYDAUS/YTS Guide: Using Your Data to Build Support for Prevention).

How often is the MYDAUS/YTS offered?

Since 2000, the MYDAUS(YTS) has been offered on even numbered years, usually in February before spring break. The most recent data available was collected in February 2008. Starting in 2009, the MYDAUS/YTS will be replaced by the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey (MIYHS), which includes a broader range of topics, including nutrition, intentional and unintentional injuries, and developmental assets.

Besides expanded content, how will the MIYHS compare to the MYDAUS/YTS?

One of the primary drawbacks to the MYDAUS was its length. The number of questions each student will be asked to answer for the MIYHS will be around 100 for the high school students and approximately 80 for the 7th and 8th graders. So that more topics could be asked and still keep the survey short for individual students, many of the original MYDAUS questions were dropped, including many of those used to create the risk and protective factor scales. Also, there will be four versions of the survey, with each participating school randomly distributing two versions among their classes. Each version will contain the same core questions (about 55), which will provide local data for schools and school districts. In addition, there will be county-level questions on two versions of the survey and each state-level question will be on only one version. As with the MYDAUS/YTS, the MIYHS will be made available to all public, quasi-public, and alternative schools. It will be a census survey (all schools will be in one of 2 randomly chosen samples), and the reliability of the data will depend on the participation of the schools.

Some schools also considered the content of the MYDAUS to be inappropriate for 6th graders. This will also be addressed in 2009; a sample of schools will be chosen for the Childs Health Survey which will include a short questionnaire (of around 50 questions) for 5th and 6th graders, including several questions about cigarettes, alcohol and inhalants. In addition, there will be a survey for the parents of kindergarteners and 3rd graders which will focus primarily on asthma, dental health and nutrition. These surveys will be augmented by oral screening and height/weight measurements of K, 3rd and 5th graders.

MYDAUS Administration Information:

2008 MYDAUS/YTS
2006 MYDAUS/YTS
2004 MYDAUS/YTS
2002 MYDAUS
2000 MYDAUS
1998/1999 MYDAUS
1996 MYDAUS

Your questions and comments are welcomed.
Contact:

Note: all documents on the OSA web in .pdf format are available in printed format upon request: osa.ircosa@maine.gov