December 27 2018

Grant from Lahey Will Pay for Online Youth Risk Behavior Study


Burlington students, and students throughout the region, will once again take a survey meant to identify and track risky behavior trends among young people and thanks to a grant they will take it online.

Burlington Public Schools Superintendent Eric Conti said at last week’s School Committee meeting that Lahey Health had donated $50,000 for an online version of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. This is the second time students will take the survey online as two years ago Lahey made a similar grant to make the survey digital.

Students in grades seven to twelve will take the survey in March of 2019. It asks them to answer, anonymously, questions about which risky behaviors they have engaged in and how often they do so. The risky behaviors include things like smoking, vaping, drinking and drug use and how often they pair those activities with things like driving or riding with people under the influence. There are also questions about mental states including about depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

Burlington students will not be the only ones taking the survey. The grant was awarded to the Burlington School Department but includes funds for other schools in the Middlesex District. The results of the survey are examined for trends among students both in town and in the region and help educators better understand what risks students are engaged in and how to perhaps address them.


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