A consortium of government departments commission Central Survey Unit (CSU) to design and conduct 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.
Six rounds of the survey have now taken place: in Autumn 2000, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013 and most recently in Autumn 2016.
The target population for this survey is young people at different stages in post-primary education. A random sample of post-primary schools in Northern Ireland is drawn from a list held by the Department of Education (DE). The sample is representative of school size, selection type (i.e. Secondary, Grammar), management group (i.e. Controlled, Voluntary, Roman Catholic Maintained, Grant Maintained Integrated etc) and Education and Library Board area. Participating schools provide details of the number of classes in years 8-12, together with class names. A class in each of the five year groups is then randomly selected to take part. Only pupils from the selected classes are included in the survey.
With earlier rounds of the YPBAS the survey was completed using self completion paper questionnaires. In 2013 the survey was conducted for the first time using laptops and in 2016 it was conducted using tablets. Selected pupils are assembled in class-sized groups to complete the survey. CSU interviewers and staff set up the computers ready for use and remain with the children throughout the data collection period to help with any technical issues. After all classes are surveyed at each school, the data is transferred to CSU for validation and analysis.
|Year||No. of Schools||No. of Pupils|
To ensure the achieved sample reflects the composition of the population of pupils in post primary education with regard to key characteristics (i.e. gender, year group and religion) the data is weighted accordingly. Up to date figures from the School Census are used to derive the weights.
The content of the questionnaire is set in consultation with the clients and asks a range of questions about the behaviour and attitudes of young people. Topics in the 2016 questionnaire included:
|Demographics||Care in the Sun|
|Long Term Conditions||Sunbeds|
|Subject Choices||Tattooing and Piercing|
|Next Steps||Learning to Drive|
|Creative Industries||Travelling to School|
|School||Careers Advice and Guidance|
|Nutrition||Starting a Business|
|Sport and Physical Activity||Young Carers|
|Play and Leisure||Health and Wellbeing|
|Libraries||More About your Health|
|Museums and Science Centres||Medicines|
|Sign Language||Solvents & Drugs|
|Self Efficacy||Personal Safety|
|Locus of Control and Wellbeing||Attitudes towards Domestic Violence|
|Organ Donation||More about You|
Previous YPBAS questionnaires can be viewed here
Results / Publications
The YPBAS 2016 Top-Line Results (Weighted) and Technical Report can be downloaded here
- Department for Communities YPBAS 2016 Headline Bulletin
- Department of Health YPBAS 2016 Headline Bulletin
For more information about the Young Persons Behaviour and Attitudes Survey please contact:
Maureen Stewart Tel: 02890 255112
Norma Broomfield Tel: 02890 255068
Central Survey Unit