What is PAYS?

PAYS Stands for the Pennsylvania Youth Survey. This survey is conducted anonymously every two years for school students in the 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th grades to learn about their behavior, attitudes and knowledge concerning alcohol, tobacco, other drugs and violence.

The data gathered in PAYS serve three primary needs:

  1. Collecting Information about the pattern and changes of the use and abuse of harmful substances and behaviors. This information is for school administrators, state agency directors, legislators and others.
  2. Assess Risk Factors and Protective Factors that are related to these behaviors and the protective factors that help guard against them.
  3. Data from the PAYS helps PA policy makers understand the needs of youth and families statewide and helps target funding where it will make the most difference. This is offered to school districts at no cost and administered anonymously. This information allows community leaders to direct prevention resources to areas where they are likely to have the greatest impact!

The PAYS is similar in some ways to the CDC's Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, but with some important differences. See how they compare.

The PAYS Survey is supported and funded by:

Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency logo
Logo for Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs
Pennsylvania Department of Education logo