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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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The Middle School Health Behavior Survey (MSHBS) is a statewide, school-based confidential survey of Florida's public middle school students.  The purpose of the MSHBS is to monitor priority health-risk behaviors that contribute substantially to the leading causes of death, disability, and social problems among youth, which contribute to patterns in adulthood.  The first MSHBS was administered in 2009.  The MSHBS expands on the Youth Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey (YPANS), a statewide, school-based confidential survey of Florida's public middle school students administered in 2003, 2005 and 2007.  YPANS was supported by the Obesity Prevention Program in the Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

The MSHBS is part of the Florida Youth Survey (FYS), which includes the Florida Youth Tobacco Survey (FYTS), the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), and the Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey (FYSAS).  The Florida Youth Survey Effort is an inter-agency collaboration of the Florida Departments of Education, Children and Families, Health, Juvenile Justice.

Topics on the MSHBS
The following topics are asked in this survey: 1) Demographic information (age, gender, grade, race/ethnicity, weight, height); 2) Unintentional injuries and violence; 3) Tobacco use; 4) Alcohol and other drug use; 5) Dietary behaviors; and 6) Physical activity. 

Sampling Methods
The MSHBS is based on a two-stage cluster probability sample design.  First, a random sample of public middle schools is selected for participation in the survey.  Second, within each selected school, a random sample of classrooms is selected, and all students in those classes are invited to participate in the survey.  The responses of the survey participants are weighted to be representative of all Florida public middle school students. 

Target Population
Florida public middle school students (6-8 grade levels)

Data Analysis
Since the MSHBS is based on a two-stage cluster probability sampling methodology rather than a simple random sample, SUDAAN or advanced components of SAS or other statistical programs are recommended for the data analysis.  Confidence interval is an important measure of statistical significance and very useful when making comparison between data.