Alaska Develops Video to Share How Partners Use Youth Survey Results

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Submission Date: March 2020

State/Territory Submitted on the Behalf of: Alaska

States/Territories Involved: Alaska

Funding Source: CDC

CDC Funding:

Yes

CDC Funding (Specified):

Other CDC Funding

Other Funding:

State funding

Domain Addressed:

Epidemiology and Surveillance

Public Health Issue:

Alaska youth face health and behavior challenges that increase their chances of death, disability and social problems. Behaviors linked to death, disability and social problems include a lack of physical activity and good nutrition; tobacco, alcohol, and drug use; safety concerns; violence and bullying; suicide; sexual behaviors; and poor connections with peers, adults, and the community. Alaska’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) monitors health risk behaviors among youth so the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, partners and families know the challenges youth face and try to improve them through programs and policies. The YRBS is part of a national epidemiological surveillance system that was established in 1990 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). High YRBS participation and response rates are needed to provide representative, weighted survey results that can inform programs and policies designed to improve youth health. Alaska is one of few states in the nation that has a school survey law requiring active parental consent for surveys of this type. Active consent requirements led Alaska’s YRBS program to prioritize communicating the importance of participating in the YRBS and share how survey results are used.

Project Objectives:

Educate families, school district staff and partners about the YRBS; show partners the potential of using the YRBS data to inform programs and policies that improve youth health; and increase participation in the YRBS.

Program Action:

Developed partnerships with the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development and data users statewide to ensure data collected was representative of the state as a whole.

Evaluated communication options and messaging to inform families and partners of the importance of YRBS data.

Worked with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Public Information Team and a contractor to create a video to educate families, school district staff, and potential partners about the importance of high participation rates in an expansive state with diverse rural communities.

Developed a script, conducted interviews, and recorded partners who use YRBS results.

Incorporated partner interviews into a new video highlighting partners’ work and data use in programs that support Alaska youth.

Shared the video publicly to educate families, school district staff, and potential partners about the need for: representative data, and ways to use YRBS data to inform programs and policies aimed at reducing risk behaviors and improving the health of Alaska’s youth.

Data/Other Information Collected:

Measure the number of views. Without promotion, the video has had more than 160 views.

Impact/Accomplishments:

The program seeks an increase in participating schools and districts as it continues to improve outreach and communication with school districts, partners, and families. The partner video is one of several activities aimed at increasing participation in the survey and partnerships statewide.

Challenges/Lessons Learned:

Active consent: Alaska’s active parental consent law, AS 14.03.110, prohibits public schools from administering surveys or questionnaires that ask about personal or family matters without first getting written permission from all participating students’ parents or legal guardians (also called “opt in”). Alaska’s active consent requirements led Alaska’s YRBS program to create the video and use other communication strategies to inform partners and families about the importance of participating in the YRBS and using the survey data.

Next Steps:

Wider promotion efforts that include sharing the video are planned closer to the 2021 YRBS survey year.

Primary web link for more information:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCKV6yhKMFs

Program Areas:

Epidemiology and Surveillance, Social Determinants of Health

State Contact Information:

AK
Gina Agron (video developed by Tazlina Mannix and Ann Potempa)
Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
907-269-8030
gina.agron@alaska.gov

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