Sociology: Analysis in Survey Research

Analysis in Survey Research


            The survey conducted by the New York City Risk Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMN) entailed collaboration with the Depart of Education in New York in assessment of health risk behaviors attributed to the major causes of mortality, social problems facing the youth as well as morbidity in New York City. The study initiated in 1997 where the years with odd numbers were put into consideration as the basic years of study. The study involved questionnaires that aimed at measuring the behaviors of using alcohol, tobacco as well as other drugs that consequently brought about unintended injuries and violence as well as other social vices such as sexual, dietary behaviors and physical activity. Similarly, the study aimed at monitoring prevalent aspects such as asthma and obesity among the youth based on standards delegated by the Center for Disease and Prevention Control as the main sponsors.

            Consequently, the main purpose behind the survey entailed monitoring priority health hazard behaviors that initiated major instances of morbidity, mortality as well as social issues facing the youth in New York City. The study required students from various schools within the city to complete self-administered questionnaires that would facilitate in measuring the various traits. The results obtained from the survey entailed a representation of students in public high schools from grade 9 to grade 12 with the exclusion of students in juvenile detention centers as well as those students within schools for special education.


            The conduction of the survey involved the use of self-administered questionnaires with the questions emanating from the Center for Disease Prevention and Control that played a crucial role in setting the necessary standards. These standards required about two thirds of the core instrument questions to be used and all the questionnaires should have less than 99 questions. In this case, since the initiation of the survey in 1997, the question varied significantly over the years until date. In 1997, the questionnaires included about 89 questions; in 1999 they had 87 questions all through to 2003 but from 2005 till date, the questions increased to 99 (Grunbaum et al, 2000)

 Target Population

            The survey conducted in this case involved students from public high schools in grade 9 to grade 12 with the exclusion of students based in juvenile detention centers as well as those based within schools for special education.

Sampling Frame, Sample Size and response rates

            Since the survey on youth risk behavior became initiated in 1997 to about 2001, it involved a design aimed at providing data based on the entire city. As years progressed, there was an expansion on the survey where in 2003 it aimed at providing borough-level data. Similarly, in 2005, there was further expansion in order to provide data for three District Public Health Office areas based in South Bronx, North and Central Brooklyn as well as East and Central Harlem. These health offices were developed by the Health Department in the areas that had the highest instances of morbidity as well as mortality within the city (Grunbaum et al, 2000).  The response rates on the other hand entailed facts such as, in 1997, there were 2014 completed surveys and the response rate was at 100 percent with overall response standing at 78 percent.

            In 1999, the response rate stood at 96 percent with overall response rate being 70 and 74 percent for the students. This was followed by considerable decrease in the response rate until 2001 when the response rates increased again across the entire city as well as the boroughs and the department of public health. The sample design involved a stratified two-stage cluster aimed at producing representative sample of students. The first stage in this case involved schools as the primary sampling units that were randomly selected with probability proportional to the size of enrollment within the schools (Grunbaum et al, 2000). The schools were obtained from information provided by the Department of Education involved in reporting the most recent status of schools as well as student enrollment. The second sampling staged entailed classrooms categorized within a designated period of the school day or a certain class that were listed in a classroom level sampling frame (Grunbaum et al, 2000).

In addition, the sample size varied from year to year with limited or no computer assistance involved. This was also coupled with a time dimension that vital for the survey to be conducted from February to May of every year with odd numbers. This also involved a single to be conducted per every round of survey. The level of observation also included high-school students obtained randomly from various schools within the city (Nancy, 2004).

            The survey conducted met the necessary objectives as it facilitated the determination of whether the health risk-behaviors as well as conditions were improving or remained stagnant or whether they needed improvement. This was coupled with the ability to develop public health programs through the evaluation of these programs (Nancy, 2004). Similarly, the survey allowed critical analysis of the factors that brought about these hazards as well as proper measures that could be implemented in order to curb them. However, these objectives may need improvement in some areas such as setting priorities required in the programs developed for public health. These priorities would involve training of the staff at the Department of Education as well as other stakeholders involved. In order to curb the risks involved in the behaviors of the youth in New York City, there should be education rendered to the groups within the community in order to enlighten them on the necessary steps to take. It should also include creation of publications based on the data on vital signals as well as data briefs (Nancy, 2004).


            The survey only focused on defining and determining the health-risk behaviors as well as conditions that were improving or those that stagnated. It should have focused on the development of public health programs set within priorities where training should have been offered with the aim of educating the groups as well as the staff on ways to prevent the occurrence of similar instances.


Grunbaum, J. A., Kann, L., Kinchen, S. A., Ross, J. G., Gowda, V. R., Collins, J. L., & Kolbe, L. J. (2000). Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance National Alternative High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey, United States, 1998. Journal of School Health. doi:10.1111/j.1746-1561.2000.tb06439.

Nancy D. Brener, et. al. 2004. “Methodology of the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System.” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Promotion, Vol. 53, No. RR-12, p.9. – The Official New York City Web Site – Redirected page. (n.d.). Retrieved from