Health Behavior in School-Aged Children, 1997-1998 [United States] (ICPSR 3522)

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World Health Organization


Version V4

HBSC, 1997-1998

Since 1982, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe has sponsored a cross-national, school-based study of health-related attitudes and behaviors of young people. These studies, generally known as Health Behavior in School-Aged Children (HBSC), are based on independent national surveys of school-aged children in as many as 30 participating countries. The HBSC studies were conducted every four years since the 1985-1986 school year. The data available here are from the results of the United States survey conducted during the 1997-1998 school year. The study results can be used as stand-alone data, or to compare with the other countries involved in the international HBSC. The HBSC study has two main objectives. The first objective is to monitor health-risk behaviors and attitudes in youth over time to provide background data and to identify targets for health promotion initiatives. The second objective is to provide researchers with relevant information in order to understand and explain the development of health attitudes and behaviors through early adolescence. The study contains variables dealing with many types of drugs such as tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, inhalants, hallucinogens, and over-the-counter medications. The study also examines a person's health and other health behaviors such as eating habits, body image, health problems, family make-up, feelings, bullying, fighting, bringing weapons to school, personal injuries, and opinions about school.

World Health Organization. Health Behavior in School-Aged Children, 1997-1998 [United States]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-04-23.

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United States Department of Health and Human Services. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, World Health Organization
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
1997 -- 1998
1997 -- 1998 (school year)

Data were collected and prepared for release by Macro International Inc, Calverton, MD.

Of the 17,000 participants, 835 cases were missing for a significant number of key variables (specified in the international HBSC protocol) and were consequently dropped from the file. An additional 440 cases were dropped from the file due to the respondent's age or grade being extreme. Another 39 cases were also dropped because age or grade was unknown. The result created a sample size of 15,686.

The collection includes a SAS macro file ( that can be used for estimating proportions and computing standard errors and confidence intervals. This file is distributed as it was received, and it has not been reviewed or tested.

The public-use file documentation, included in the codebook, references several files that are not included in this distribution.

To protect the anonymity 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.

(1) This study employed a three-stage cluster design in which the school's county was the primary sampling unit (PSU) or first stage (sometimes smaller counties were combined as a single PSU), the school was the second stage, and the classroom was the third stage. (2) Schools were stratified by racial and ethnic status (4 levels of African American concentration and 4 levels of Hispanic concentration) and Metropolitan Statistical Area status (largest urban areas, not largest urban areas), creating 16 primary strata. (3) Classes were selected using simple random sampling, from a suitable frame of classes that represented the target grade in a selected school. All students in a selected class were asked to participate in the study.

The universe for the study consisted of public, Catholic and other private school students in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Students were in grades 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 or their equivalent. Very small schools, those with enrollment of less than 14 (comprising about 1 percent of the enrollment of United States schools), were excluded from the universe.


self-enumerated questionnaires

survey data

Of the 664 schools selected, 386 agreed to participate (yielding a participation rate of 58 percent). Within these schools, 20,533 students were eligible and 17,000 participated (yielding a student response rate of 83 percent).


2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • World Health Organization. Health Behavior in School-Aged Children, 1997-1998 [United States]. ICPSR03522-v4. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-04-22.

2008-04-22 The variable Q97_COMP was created. It recodes Q97 into a dichotomous Yes/No relationship asking if the respondent had ever used over-the-counter medications.

2008-04-14 The dataset has been changed to include newly computed variables, deletion of duplicate variables, recoded variables to make value labels consistent, and height and weight variables that were recoded to be consistent with other years of HBSC and in order to compute BMI.

2007-08-28 Stata setup, Stata system, and Stata supplemental files were added along with SPSS portable and SAS XPORT files. This process affected some column locations, as a result, codebooks were updated to reflect correct new column locations.

2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

2003-04-11 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.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

The data file does contain weights. Each valid responding record was weighted by the inverse of the probability of having selected the respondent's school and classroom, adjusted for school nonresponse and student nonresponse within classrooms. The resulting weights were then trimmed to adjust to add to national totals by ethnicity and grade level. A hotdeck approach was used to impute missing values (for weighting purposes only) for ethnicity, classifying the students into five categories (White, African American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American). Totals were obtained for each race and grade level from the National Center for Educational Statistics web site. The weights were then adjusted so that totals for each race/grade category corresponded to national totals. The name of the weight variable in the dataset is W0.


  • 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.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. Please see version history for more details.

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).