Melissa Magstadt, South Dakota Secretary of Health
South Dakota Department of Health

Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS)

What is the YRBS?

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) monitors six priority health behaviors of high school students including:

  • behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence;
  • sexual behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV;
  • alcohol and drug use;
  • tobacco use;
  • dietary behaviors; and
  • physical activity.

The YRBS has been conducted in South Dakota in partnership with The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since 1991. From 1991 through 2013, the survey was administered by the South Dakota Department of Education in collaboration with multiple state agencies, including the Department of Health. In the spring of 2013, the South Dakota Department of Education administered the survey. In August of 2013, the Department of Health took over administration of the South Dakota YRBS and compiled the 2013 report. Today, administration of the survey remains with the South Dakota Department of Health.

How Does IT work?

The YRBS is administered in odd numbered years to public, tribal, and BIE students in grades 9th through 12th at scientifically selected high schools across the state. The survey is voluntary and anonymous.

why take part in the survey?

Results from the survey are either unweighted or weighted. Unweighted data only provides information about the sample of students who participated in the survey. Weighted data can be generalized to all public, tribal, and BIE South Dakota high school students and used for targeted prevention and early intervention programs.

A high rate of participation among sampled schools is needed to obtain weighted data. Since schools scientifically selected to participate in the survey cannot be replaced by any other school in the state, participation is crucial.  

Historically, YRBS administration has been very successful in South Dakota. Weighted data has been obtained every administration cycle except 2017. Thus, 2017 data is not available for publication and will not be found in any published reports.

YRBS Reports



Mark Gildemaster
YRBS Coordinator
Office of Health Statistics | South Dakota Department of Health
615 E. 4th Street | Pierre, SD 57501-1700
Phone: 605-773-3596 | E-mail:

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