Resource Guide: Using Data (Analyzing by Gender)
The purpose of this resource guide is to provide an overview of a few of the largest national databases. The power of these data is that they have numerous applications and can be utilized for a variety of informational and practical purposes, including the following:
Identify National Trends
Track changes over time in girls’ risk and protective factors
Compare to justice-system-involved girls
Compare to local data
Inform agency-wide policies and practices
Staff hiring implications
Inform resource needs
Review girls’ priority needs
Identify areas where training may be needed regarding trends in mental health and substance use
To support requests for needed resources
Possible services needed in order to support girls
Community Outreach and Presentations
Provides snapshot of national trends and how they compare to local trends
Provides nationally representative data statistics from known and reliable sources
National Data Sets With Community Samples
There are several sources of data.
The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) is a longitudinal study of a nationally representative sample of adolescents in grades 7–12 in the United States during the 1994–95 school year. The Add Health cohort has been followed into young adulthood with four in-home interviews, the most recent in 2008, when the sample was aged 24–32. Add Health combines longitudinal survey data on respondents’ social, economic, psychological, and physical well-being with contextual data on the family, neighborhood, community, school, friendships, peer groups, and romantic relationships, providing unique opportunities to study how social environments and behaviors in adolescence are linked to health and achievement outcomes in young adulthood. The fourth wave of interviews expanded the collection of biological data in Add Health to understand the social, behavioral, and biological linkages in health trajectories as the Add Health cohort ages through adulthood. A useful tool for statistics about major life domains in a sample that is nationally representative. Since these data are longitudinal, changes can be seen over time.
Monitoring the Future:
An ongoing study of the behaviors, attitudes, and values of American secondary school students, college students, and young adults. Each year, a total of approximately 50,000 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students are surveyed (12th graders since 1975, and 8th and 10th graders since 1991). A useful tool for getting current statistics and information about changes in the beliefs, attitudes, and behavior of teens, including alcohol and other drug use.
Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance:
The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) monitors priority health-risk behaviors and the prevalence of obesity and asthma among youth and young adults. The YRBSS includes a national school-based survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state, territorial, tribal, and district surveys conducted by state, territorial, and local education and health agencies and tribal governments. A useful tool to look at trends in local communities and get information regarding high risk behaviors by gender.