Appendix A. Differences Among Survey Data Sources
Item NHSDA/NSDUH MTF YRBS
Sample Characteristics
Survey population Civilian, noninstitutionalized population ages 12 and older, including residents of households and noninstitutional group quarters, and civilians living on military installations 8th, 10th, 12th graders enrolled in school 9th through 12th graders enrolled in school
Sample size (2009) 68,700 youth and adults, 25,319 12-20 year olds included in the public use file 12th grade: 14,268/125 schools
10th grade: 16,320/119 schools
8th grade: 15,509/145 schools
16,460/158 schools
Sampling procedure Independent, multistage area probability sample for each State and DC:
  1. Area segments/field interviewer regions (PPS)
  2. Addresses/area segments
  3. Persons/addresses
Multistage area probability sampling:
  1. Geographic areas
  2. Schools/area (PPS)
  3. Classes/school
3-stage cluster sampling:
  1. Primary sampling units
  2. School/PSU (PPS)
  3. Classes/school
Year survey initiated 1971 1975 1991
Latest year available within report range 2009 2009 2009
Frequency of administration Annual (from 1991) Annual (from 1991 for all 3 grades) Every 2 years
Location of administration Home School School
Alcohol Items
Prevalence of Use
Past 30 days During the past 30 days, on how many days did you drink one or more drinks of an alcoholic beverage? On how many occasions (if any) have you had alcoholic beverages to drink—more than just a few sips—during the last 30 days? During the past 30 days, on how many days did you have at least one drink of alcohol?
Response: Open-ended (i.e., number of days)
  1. 0
  2. 1–2
  3. 3–5
  4. 6–9
  5. 10–19
  6. 20–39
  7. 40+
  1. 0
  2. 1 or 2
  3. 3 to 5
  4. 6 to 9
  5. 10 to 19
  6. 20 to 29
  7. All 30 days
Drinking Patterns
Age at first consumption How old were you the first time you had a drink of an alcoholic beverage?* When (if ever) did you first…try an alcoholic beverage— more than just a few sips? (non-core dataset) How old were you when you had your first drink of alcohol other than a few sips?
Response: Open-ended (i.e., age in years)
  1. Grade 4 or less (8th,10th graders)
  2. Grade 5 (8th,10th graders)
  3. Grade 6
  4. Grade 7
  5. Grade 8
  6. Grade 9
  7. Grade 10
  8. Grade 11 (12th graders only)
  9. Grade 12 (12th graders only)
  10. Never
  1. Never had a drink
  2. 8 or younger
  3. 9–10
  4. 11–12
  5. 13–14
  6. 15–16
  7. 17+

Frequency

During the past 30 days, on how many days did you drink one or more drinks of an alcoholic beverage? On how many occasions (if any) have you had alcoholic beverages to drink—more than just a few sips—during the last 30 days? During the past 30 days, on how many days did you have at least one drink of alcohol?
Response: Open-ended (i.e., number of days)
  1. 0
  2. 1–2
  3. 3–5
  4. 6–9
  5. 10–19
  6. 20–39
  7. 40+
  1. 0
  2. 1 or 2
  3. 3 to 5
  4. 6 to 9
  5. 10 to 19
  6. 20 to 29
  7. All 30 day

Quantity

On the [#] days that you drank during the past 30 days, how many drinks did you usually have each day? Count as a drink a can or bottle of beer; a wine cooler or a glass of wine, champagne, or sherry; a shot of liquor or a mixed drink or cocktail.    
Response: Open-ended (i.e., number of drinks)    

Volume

[Computation of frequency X quantity]    

Binge Drinking

During the past 30 days, that is, since ___, on how many days did you have 5 or more drinks on the same occasion? By “occasion,” we mean at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other. Think back over the last two weeks. How many times have you had five or more drinks in a row? During the past 30 days, on how many days did you have 5 or more drinks of alcohol in a row, that is, within a couple of hours?
Response: Open-ended (i.e., number of days recorded)
  1. None
  2. Once
  3. Twice
  4. 3–5 times
  5. 6–9 times
  6. 10+ times
  1. 0 days
  2. 1 day
  3. 2 days
  4. 3 to 5 days
  5. 6 to 9 days
  6. 10 to 19 days
  7. 20 or more days

Drunkenness

 

On how many occasions (if any) have you been drunk or very high from drinking alcoholic beverages during the last 30 days?

 

Response:  
  1. 0 occasions
  2. 1–2 occasions
  3. 3–5 occasions
  4. 6–9 occasions
  5. 10–19 occasions
  6. 20–39 occasions
  7. 40 or more occasions

 

Alcohol-Related Attitudes

Attitude toward others drinking

How do you feel about someone your age having one or two drinks of an alcoholic beverage nearly every day? Do you disapprove of people…taking one or two drinks nearly every day?  
Response:
  1. Neither approve nor disapprove
  2. Somewhat disapprove
  3. Strongly disapprove
  1. Don’t disapprove
  2. Disapprove
  3. Strongly disapprove
 
    Do you disapprove of people… having five or more drinks once or twice each weekend?  
Response:  
  1. Don’t disapprove
  2. Disapprove
  3. Strongly disapprove
 

Perception of risk of drinking

  How much do you think people risk harming themselves (physically or in other ways), if they take one or two drinks nearly every day?  
Response:  
  1. No risk
  2. Slight risk
  3. Moderate risk
  4. Great risk
  5. Can’t say, drug unfamiliar
 
  How much do people risk harming themselves physically and in other ways when they have five or more drinks of an alcoholic beverage once or twice a week? How much do you think people risk harming themselves (physically or in other ways), if they have five or more drinks once or twice each weekend?  
Response:
  1. No risk
  2. Slight risk
  3. Moderate risk
  4. Great risk
  1. No risk
  2. Slight risk
  3. Moderate risk
  4. Great risk
  5. Can’t say, drug unfamiliar
 

Drinking and driving

During the past 12 months, have you driven a vehicle while you were under the influence of alcohol/alcohol only? How many of these tickets or warnings [in the past 12 months] occurred after you were drinking alcoholic beverages? [12th graders] During the past 30 days, how many times did you drive a car or other vehicle when you had been drinking alcohol?
Response:
  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Never used
  1. None
  2. One
  3. Two
  4. 3–4 or more
  1. 0 times
  2. 1 time
  3. 2 or 3 times
  4. 4 or 5 times
  5. 6 or more times
    How many of these accidents [in the past 12 months] occurred after you were drinking alcoholic beverages? [12th graders]  
Response:  
  1. None
  2. One
  3. Two
  4. 3–4 or more
 
      During the past 30 days, how many times did you ride in a car or other vehicle driven by someone who had been drinking alcohol?
Response:    
  1. 0 times
  2. 1 time
  3. 2 or 3 times
  4. 4 or 5 times
  5. 6 or more times

Drinking and sexual activity

    Did you drink alcohol or use drugs before you had sexual intercourse the last time?
Response:    
  1. Never had sexual intercourse
  2. Yes
  3. No

Drinking on school property

    During the past 30 days, on how many days did you have at least one drink of alcohol on school property?
Response:    
  1. 0
  2. 1 or 2
  3. 3 to 5
  4. 6 to 9
  5. 10 to 19
  6. 20 to 29
  7. All 30 days

Drinking and dangerous activities

During the past 12 months, did you regularly drink alcohol and then do something where being drunk might have put you in physical danger?    
Response:
  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Never used
   

Drinking and getting into trouble

During the past 12 months, did drinking alcohol cause you to do things that repeatedly got you in trouble with the law?    
Response:
  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Never used
   

Drinking and problems with family/friends

During the past 12 months, did you have any problems with family or friends that were probably caused by your drinking?    
Response:
  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Never used
   

*Asks respondents not to include times when only had a sip or two of alcohol.
NOTE: Shaded areas represent categories for which the survey does not have a comparable question.

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