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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 was one of the first studies designed to examine how cross-national cultural and policy differences affect youth development. 

    Student and 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 and 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

    The IYDS has continued to follow up participants into adulthood. The young adult follow-up surveys have been supported through funding from the Australian Government via an Australian Research Council grant and from the NIAAA in the United States. Young adult surveys have included: 2010, 2012, 2014 – all Victorian participants; and 2018 – Victorian and Washington participants.

    This phase of the study has allowed us to investigate the factors early in life which influence behaviour and experiences in adulthood, and also to examine our participants’ experiences in adulthood and how differing policy contexts between Victoria and Washington are influencing health and behaviour.  

    Future plans

    The IYDS research team in both Australia and the United State are currently seeking further funding to continue following up with participants in 2022 and beyond.