What is the YRBS:

The 2013 Wakefield Youth Risk Behavior Survey was adapted from the 2011 Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) by the Centers for Disease Control. Typically issued every 2 years, the questions in the survey measure student demographics, substance use, protective factors, suicidal behaviors, personal safety, sexual health, exercise and weight loss. The survey was administered on March 7th, 2014 to the following sample of students:




Wakefield Memorial High School

9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Galvin Middle School

7th, 8th



Middle School Survey Results

High School Survey Results

Purpose of YRBS:

The purpose of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) is to help measure the prevalence of behaviors that put the youth of Massachusetts at risk for significant health and social problems that can occur during adolescence and adulthood. The data rssist the appropriate personnel in order to allocate resources that aid in the planning, prevention, intervention, and evaluation of such risky behaviors.

At A Glance:

Positive Results

Concerning Results

  • WMHS and GMS: Overall substance use is down comparative to 2011 results AND to the state in almost every category: Sexual Health Risks, Alcohol, Cigarettes, Marijuana, Illicit Drug use
  • Well over 90% of WMHS and GMS students believe that their parents/guardians would disapprove of Tobacco, Alcohol, Marijuana, and Illicit Drug use
  • 97% of WMHS/GMS students feel safe coming to school, being at school, and coming home from school
  • 2% of WMHS/GMS students ‘Never’ wear a seatbelt
  • Bullying at WMHS/GMS continues to decrease overall
  • ‘Have NEVER had Sexual Intercourse’ – 70% at WMHS; 95% at GMS
  • Use of Electronic Cigarettes in past 30 days – WMHS 22%; GMS 8.5%
  • High Risk Drinking in past 30 days – WMHS 20%
  • Marijuana use past 30 days – GMS 5% (state avg. 4%)
  • 14% said ‘Yes’ to being offered, sold, or given illegal drug on school grounds at WMHS
  • Overall Emotional Health of WMHS/GMS students – 12% made a plan to attempt suicide
  • Bothered by Emotional Problems (depressed, anxious, etc.) ‘Quite A Lot’  – WMHS 25%; GMS 12%
  • 18% of WMHS/GMS students believe teachers ‘Almost Never’ intervene in Bullying situations

What are we doing?

  • Wakefield Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition Committee (WAKE-UP) is gaining speed and beginning to implement their 3-year strategy – will use YRBS data to augment current initiatives
  • District/schools investigating idea of partnership with outside sources for counseling opportunities
  • Continued investment into Professional Development for staff through in-service days
  • Continued investment into parental training through Parent University forums – Student’s emotional well-being topics
  • Fully engaged and committed SRO for both WMHS and GMS
  • District’s commitment to increase support for student’s emotional well-being through funding school based counselors at GMS
  • District’s commitment to increase knowledge of Health/Wellness through funding additional PE/Health certified instructors
  • Anti-Bullying Program seeing success and data related improvements
  • WPD – CBJ (collaboration with police)
  • District Safety, Behavioral, and Mental Health Team
  • Monthly meetings of school based Student Support Teams
  • Health/Wellness Committee formulating strategies to address students needs based on YRBS data – 2014/2015
  • Applied for large grant for Mental Health Services