The Illinois Youth Survey (IYS) is a statewide survey administered to students in the 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grades at no cost to the school. This survey is supported by both the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Chicago Public School system. IYS has been administered since 1990 and participation has grown every year.
IYS includes questions about a number of individual and community health-related behaviors. The survey questions were carefully designed to measures key risk and protective factors that strongly contribute to community-wide substance use rates among youth. In addition to the key content areas highlighted below, schools may also select optional questions to customize their survey experience.
- Demographics: age, gender, grade, race, reduced lunch
- School: school attendance, safety
- Community: availability of drugs, perception of community attitudes
- Drug Use: usage rates, access, age of initiation into use, binge drinking
- Physical & Other Injury: physical violence, perceptions of harm from drugs
- Individual/Peer: bullying, peer substance use, gambling, depression & suicide
- Nutrition/Fitness: height & weight, food consumption, physical activity
- Family: parent attitude toward youth substance use, family rules
The ultimate goal of IYS is to improve community health by collecting both local and state information about youth behaviors and attitudes. The local data that each individual schools receives can be used for strategic planning, prevention programs, grant writing, and evaluation. This local data can be compared with statewide baselines to better assess the strengths and needs of the school.
The following are some examples of the valuable data that IYS testing can offer our community: