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International Youth Development Study

Project Description

  • [ What is IYDS?] [Project Description]  [Aims and Objectives] [Procedures] [Consent and Privacy]

    The International Youth Development Study (IYDS) is a long-term study that looks at the development of healthy and problem behaviours among young people in the state of Victoria, Australia and the state of Washington, United States.

    IYDS is one of the first studies designed to examine whether or not differences in Australian and American cultures and schools affect youth development. 

    Student & School Surveys

    Between 2002 and 2004 students from across Victoria and Washington took part in a survey every year to provide information about the types of things that affect their lives. The surveys asked about students' social lives, their feelings, and their experiences at school, as well as their experiences with and beliefs about drugs and alcohol.  We also looked at the effect of school drug policies on students by asking their opinions about their school's policies. In addition, we have asked school principals about the types of alcohol and drug use policies at each school and what happens to students who break the rules.   

    In 2006 & 2008, the Victorian arm of the study received funding to continue surveying the youngest cohort of students in the study for another 4 years (2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010). These surveys continued to ask about students' experiences at school, including their experience of school discipline procedures, their social lives and feelings, and their experiences with and beliefs about antisocial behaviour.

    This further funded study also included a survey of year 11 teachers at IYDS schools.  The survey was carried out in 2010 and asked teachers about their own wellbeing, the school's management approaches and school climate.

    Young adult surveys

    In 2009, the Victorian arm of the study received funding to re-contact participants from the middle and oldest cohorts in Victoria.   Participants were aged 19 - 22 years and were asked to complete a brief questionnaire about their work and study since completing school.

    In 2010, the IYDS was awarded further funding from the Australian government to follow-up participants into young adulthood.  The IYDS young adult follow-up study was funded to survey all the original participants from Victoria in 2010, 2012 and 2014., to ask about life as a young adult. This study will allow us to investigate the factors warly in life which influence behaviour and experiences in adulthood.  

    The 2010 and 2012 surveys are now completed and we plan to survey all Victorian study participants again in 2014. Our partners in Washington State have also received funding to locate and resurvey some of their original participants in 2014 (the Grade 7, middle cohort). This will allow us to compare the views and experiences of IYDS participants who have grown up in Washington State with those of participants who have grown up in Victoria.


    The project has also received additional funding from both the Australian and U.S. governments to further analyse the existing survey data.   Funding from the U.S. will support further investigation about what factors influence alcohol use in young people and the consequences of early alcohol use.   While funding from the Australian government will support investigation of the factors that influence tobacco and marijuana use and the short and long-term consequences of using these substances.