Prospective Purchaser FAQ

Cancellation Policy

Data Security

Deciding What Survey to Use

DFC (Drug Free Communities)

Individual Data and Consent

Languages

Logistics of Survey Administration

Reporting

Survey Questions

Can't find the answers you're looking for? Call 800-888-7828, or email us at clientservices@search-institute.org.


Cancellation Policy

What is the cancellation policy for surveys?
If you decide to cancel your survey order there will be a $100 cancellation fee. You must cancel before administration of the survey. http://www.search-institute.org/cancellation-return-and-refund-policies
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Data Security

Where and how is the data stored?
Data is stored on Search Institute’s secure servers and is only accessible to Search Institute employees who work on the analysis. Datasets have a unique number assigned to them. Organizational names and youth identification information are not stored in these databases.

Is the data secure?
Yes, the web pages are SSL encrypted and all data are stored on secure servers. Data is organized by an organization-specific number that is not identifiable outside of Search Institute. Search Institute does not use data for any purposes outside of what is listed in the parental fact sheet and consent letter. The school, program, or organization using the survey will only be able to see an aggregated report of their survey results. These reports are typically used for strategic planning or evaluating the effectiveness of programs.

How will Search Institute use the data that is collected?
Search Institute does not use data for any purposes outside of what is listed in the parental fact sheet and consent letter. The school, program, or organization using the survey will only be able to see an aggregated report of their survey results. These reports are typically used for strategic planning or evaluating the effectiveness of programs.
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Deciding What Survey to Use

What is the minimum number of youth for a report to be generated?
A DAP, YAPS and REACH report minimum is 30 youth, while an A&B report requires 50 youth to be able to analyze the data and create each report. Larger samples can help combat statistical inconsistencies and ensure that a representative sample of the population is surveyed. Some data fields may be suppressed or merged if there are not enough youth.

I need to measure change over time. Which survey is best for me?
The REACH, DAP, and YAPS surveys measure change over time and can be used as pre- and post-instruments. During pilot testing, a test-retest was conducted with each survey. Correlating the responses from two survey administrations to the same students, one to two weeks apart, showed favorable IntraClass Correlation coefficients. This is important because measures need to be stable to be used for pre-post testing or tracking student progress. Any change over time seen when using insufficiently stable measures could be due to measure error and not true change in students. Thus, a high degree of short-term stability like this is desirable. The Attitudes & Behaviors survey did not undergo these same tests as the survey was designed for a different purpose. It is largely used as a snapshot in time that provides a wealth of data on Developmental Assets and other outcomes. It provides these results dichotomously, meaning that the data showcases percentages of youth who have hit a threshold of “having” a particular asset, not the degree to which they possess it.

How long does it take to complete a survey?
On average, the REACH Survey takes Middle School students 30 minutes and High School students 20 minutes. The Developmental Assets Profile takes 10 minutes, Youth and Program Strengths takes 15 minutes and Attitudes and Behaviors takes 30 minutes. Allow extra time for introduction, questions, and explanations.

Does the DAP measure the Developmental Assets?
Yes, the DAP measures the Developmental Assets framework at the category level (all of the 40 Assets fall within one of eight categories). However, it will not provide an individual score for each Asset. The survey was intended to be brief and to measure changes in Developmental Assets over time. If you wish to measure a snapshot in time of the individual Developmental Assets, the Attitudes & Behaviors survey will be more appropriate. Note that the A&B results are binary, meaning they are not as sensitive to changes over time.
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DFC (Drug Free Communities)

We are a Drug Free Community grantee. Do your surveys comply with the Four Core Measures?
Yes, the DAP can be ordered with the added Four Core Measures for an additional fee. The Attitudes and Behaviors survey also complies with the latest Four Core Measure requirements for DFC grantees.
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Individual Data and Consent

Which demographic breakdowns are included?
In the final report, percentages are generally reported by total group, gender, grade levels. The DAP; YAPS, and REACH surveys include reports by race/ethnicity. The former also contains information by level of program participation. To protect anonymity, if the data shows fewer than 10 youth in any subgroup, responses are included in the total scores, but are not reported separately. The requirement is slightly higher with the A&B and MMW surveys, where all subgroups require a minimum of 30 youth.
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Languages

Which other languages are services available in?
All surveys are available in English. We do have several other languages available for DAP. Please email surveys@search-institute.org to inquire.
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Logistics of Survey Administration

Is there a specific time period that my survey must be used?
No, we will keep the links active until you tell us otherwise.

How many youth should I survey if I can't survey everyone?

This table shows the number of youth needed in the final sample in order to be 95% confident that the study results represent the population as a whole within each level of margin of error, presuming that the youth who participate were randomly selected from the total population.

There are a number of online sample size calculators that you may also use, including:

Total Number
of Youth*
Desired Confidence Interval (or Margin of Error)
± 1%± 2%± 3%± 5%
<300Census recommended (survey all students)
300291267235169
500476414341218
1,000906706517278
1,5001298924624306
2,0001,6561,092696323
3,0002,2861,334788341
5,0003,2891,623880357
7,5004,2121,819935366
10,0004,8991,937965370
12,5005,4322,015984373
15,0005,8562,070997375
17,5006,2012,1121,006376
20,0006,4892,1441,014377
50,0008,0572,2911,045382
>50,0009,6042,4011,068385

* This number is the total population that you wish to be represented in the study. If your survey is designed to represent those in your program or school, then this number would be for the program or school. If you wish to represent all young people in your community, it would represent all young people in your community.

SOURCE: Excerpted from Pacific Institute (2002). Guide to conducting youth surveys (updated edition). Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice. Downloaded from www.udetc.org/documents/YouthSurveys.pdf.

Can I use paper surveys?
Two of our surveys (DAP and YAPS) may be administered using paper. You will receive a pdf from Search Institute to be used for your survey administration, either in its entirety or with a combination of online surveys. The responses will then need to be entered into the online survey as if the youth themselves are taking it online.

Can the surveys be taken on mobile devices?
Since the surveys are administered through a unique url they can be completed on mobile devices that have browsers. This includes computers, iPads, tablets, mobile phones, etc. It is something that should be thoughtfully considered. Having youth take the survey on their personal devices could create complications such as: a feeling of inequality, distractions while surveying, the need for additional monitors, completing the survey outside of the administration window, additional data usage charges, etc.

Will the survey automatically change reading levels?
If your survey has multiple reading level options it will automatically switch to the appropriate version if the grade is entered for that youth. This way multiple ages can use the same survey link. This is currently only an option for the DAP survey questions.
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For additional information around planning of the survey administration, please see the user guides linked below.

Reporting

After a survey is administered, what information can we expect from the site report?
The in-depth survey reports will contain detailed charts, graphs, and tables on the scales that your particular survey measures. Depending on sample size and survey type, these scores may be broken down into cohorts based on demographic subgroups. The report will also provide you information on next steps and helpful questions to start a dialogue. Sample reports can be found on our website.

What reports are included with my survey purchase?
We will produce one report for you for each site. Any reports requested after administration will incur the normal fee.
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Survey Questions

May I see a sample copy of a particular survey or report?
Certainly! Each survey web-page has downloadable samples, or contact us for more detail at surveys@search-institute.org.

Do youth answer truthfully?
Studies have shown that students are truthful when answering questions on anonymous surveys. To be safe, our analyses looks for inconsistencies in the way students respond to similar questions, unrealistically high substance use, too many unanswered items, and patterns in responses. Surveys with these kinds of problems are not used in the report findings. The percentage of surveys removed from individual school or community studies has remained consistent over time and generally falls into the 15 to 20 percent range.

Can I add questions or measures?
Sometimes we can add questions. There is an additional cost to do so and the questions will need to be approved and will take additional processing time to add to the survey.

Can I eliminate questions or measures?
In general, no. Removing questions tampers with the validity of the survey tool. However there are some minor adjustments that can be made to the A&B survey, or if the context in the survey doesn't match the population.

What do Search Institute surveys measure?
Our surveys primarily measure Developmental Assets, developmental relationships, and social-emotional strengths. To see a list of measures and learn more about them, please visit this webpage.
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Can't find the answers you're looking for? Call 800-888-7828, or email us at clientservices@search-institute.org.