Monitoring the Future: A Continuing Study of American Youth (12th-Grade Survey), 2009 (ICPSR 28401)

Published: Oct 27, 2010

Principal Investigator(s):
Lloyd D. Johnston, University of Michigan. Institute for Social Research. Survey Research Center; Jerald G. Bachman, University of Michigan. Institute for Social Research. Survey Research Center; Patrick M. O'Malley, University of Michigan. Institute for Social Research. Survey Research Center; John E. Schulenberg, University of Michigan. Institute for Social Research. Survey Research Center


Version V1

MTF 2009 (12th Grade)

This survey of 12th-grade students is part of a series that explores changes in important values, behaviors, and lifestyle orientations of contemporary American youth. Students are randomly assigned to complete one of six questionnaires, each with a different subset of topical questions, but all containing a set of "core" questions on demographics and drug use. There are about 1,400 variables across the questionnaires. Drugs covered by this survey include tobacco, smokeless tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, hashish, prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, LSD, hallucinogens, amphetamines (stimulants), Ritalin (methylphenidate), Quaaludes (methaqualone), barbiturates (tranquilizers), cocaine, crack cocaine, GHB (gamma hydroxy butyrate), ecstasy, methamphetamine, and heroin. Other topics include attitudes toward religion, changing roles for women, educational aspirations, self-esteem, exposure to drug education, and violence and crime (both in and out of school).

Johnston, Lloyd D., Bachman, Jerald G., O’Malley, Patrick M., and Schulenberg, John E. Monitoring the Future: A Continuing Study of American Youth (12th-Grade Survey), 2009. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-10-27.

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United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Drug Abuse (DA001411)

Users are reminded that these data are to be used solely for statistical analysis and reporting of aggregated information and not for the investigation of specific individuals.


2009 (Spring)

MTF does not release detailed geography codes in its public use files because of the disclosure risk it would cause. The MTF sample is drawn to generate representative samples of the four Census Bureau regions of the country (Northeast, Midwest, South, and West), but it does not generate representative samples of smaller geographic areas such as states, counties, or cities. For additional information about data that is withheld from the public use files please contact MTF directly at

Variables omitted from the Western region questionnaires are noted in each codebook.

Prior to 2005, the variable asking about race only had categories for Black and White. In 2005, a change was made to include a third category for Hispanic. This new format was implemented on all six forms. This change has continued in 2009. Each form for 2009 allows for Black, White, and Hispanic on the race question.

To protect the privacy of respondents, all variables that could be used to identify individuals have been collapsed or recoded in the public use files. These modifications should not affect analytic uses of the public use files.

Conducted by the University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research, Survey Research Center.

A user guide is provided with the study documentation. It contains a year-to-year cross-time question index for the MTF 12th-grade surveys, which is sorted by subject area, item reference number, and questionnaire form.

Frequency and percentage distributions displayed in the 2009 codebooks are unweighted, rather than weighted by variable V5 as they had been in previous years. This change was made to simplify both the production of the codebooks and their interpretation by the analyst.

A multistage area probability sample design involving three selection stages: (1) geographic areas or primary sampling units (PSUs), (2) schools (or linked groups of schools) within PSUs, and (3) students within sampled schools. Of the 72 PSUs, 8 were selected with certainty, 10 were selected with a probability of .50, and the remainder were selected using a probability based on their 2000 Census household count. In schools with more than 350 seniors, a sample of seniors or classes was drawn. In schools with less than 350 seniors, all seniors were asked to participate unless logistical challenges required a sample be taken. Each school was asked to participate for two years so that each year one-half of the sample would be replaced. Schools refusing participation were replaced with similar schools in terms of geographic location, size, and type of school (e.g., public, private/Catholic, private/non-Catholic). The total sample was divided into 6 subsamples consisting of an average of 2,378 respondents. Each subsample was administered a different form of the questionnaire, although all respondents answered the "core" drug and demographic questions. The participation rate among schools has been between 66 and 85 percent since the inception of the study.

High school seniors in the contiguous United States.


survey data

on-site questionnaire

The overall student response rate for 2009 was 82 percent.



2010-10-27 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Each of the seven parts contains a weight variable, V5. They were originally varied by school but were modified to protect respondent confidentiality. Users should use the weight variable for all analyses, the results of which will differ slightly from published data tables that used original data.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


This study is maintained and distributed by the National Addiction & HIV Data Archive Program (NAHDAP). NAHDAP is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).