Young Persons’ Behaviour & Attitudes Survey

A consortium of government departments commission a study on the behaviour and attitudes of young people in post-primary education in Northern Ireland. The Young Persons’ Behaviour and Attitudes Survey (YPBAS) is a school-based survey conducted among 11-16 year-olds.


Seven rounds of the survey have now taken place: in 2000, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and most recently in 2019.



The target population for this survey is young people at different stages in post-primary education.  The Department of Education (DE) provided NISRA with a list of all post-primary schools in Northern Ireland. All post-primary schools were contacted and invited to participate in the survey. Those schools who agreed to participate provided details of the number of classes they had in Years 8-12. One class in each of the five year groups was then randomly selected.  All pupils in these selected classes were invited to take part in the survey.

Data Collection

The data was collected in 2019 using a Blaise 5 computer-assisted self-completion questionnaire on Microsoft Surface Tablets.  In most instances, children were surveyed one class at a time, often in a classroom setting.  Some schools requested that the questionnaire be administered to multiple classes at once and in a few instances, all selected pupils at the same time; in these cases the survey was usually carried out in the school gym/assembly hall.


Before analysis, the data are weighted to adjust for differences in the composition of the achieved sample compared to the same characteristics in the population, known as non-response weights.  The non-response rates were applied sequentially to calibrate the characteristics of the achieved sample to the school population distribution (from the School Census, Department of Education) in respect of year group, sex and religion. 


As in previous years, two versions of the questionnaire were created to accommodate demand for topics on the 2019 survey. The full set of questions in each questionnaire can be found at the Young Persons’ Behaviour and Attitude Survey 2019 page.

Topics in the 2019 survey included
 Health & Wellbeing Long Term Conditions
 Education Travelling to School
 Nutrition   Personal Safety
Culture, Arts & Leisure Social Media
Substance Use Starting a Business
CPR & AED Training Sexual Health
Care in the Sun Organ Donation
Volunteering Communication

Previous YPBAS questionnaires are available to view.

Results / Publications

Key Findings from the 2019 Young Persons’ Behaviour and Attitude Survey are available to view.

Results from previous rounds of the survey can be found at the Previous YPBAS publications page.

Further Analysis

Further analysis published by commissioning departments:


For more information about the Young Persons Behaviour and Attitudes Survey please contact:

Ruth Hewitt

Telephone:  028 90 388 432


Central Survey Unit

About the Central Survey Unit