MSDE Highlights KRA Report

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) recently released a KRA report on risky behaviors among Maryland high school age youth.  The report is the latest produced by KRA under a contract with MSDE to administer the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS).  The YRBS was developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor health behaviors that can lead to death, disability, and social problems among youth.   Maryland first administered the survey, with KRA support, in 2005, and then again in 2007, and 2009. The 2009 YRBS included a national school-based survey conducted by CDC, 47 state surveys, four territory surveys, two tribal government surveys, and 23 local surveys conducted among students in grades 9–12. The behaviors monitored by the Maryland YRBS include traffic safety, suicide, harassment and bullying, alcohol/tobacco/other drug use, nutritional habits, and physical activity.  Findings from the survey are used by educators, public health officials, community groups, and other stakeholders to refine initiatives to improve youth health and well-being.   According to KRA Senior Research Associate, Robyn West, “The release of latest report is exciting because it departs from the kind of report published in the past by Maryland, and for that matter any other State or local agency administering the YRBS.  It lays out the results in an easy-to-understand format, which makes it much more accessible to a general audience, including those with most at stake, i.e., students and their families.”   The survey will be implemented again in 2011. In addition to working directly with Maryland and other State and local jurisdictions to implement the YRBS, KRA is part of the team contracted by the CDC to provide technical assistance and training on the YRBS, nationwide.  To learn more about KRA’s YRBS practice, contact Robyn West at And, check out the Maryland YRBS report on-line at: