Delaware School Survey (DSS)


The Delaware School Survey is an annual survey of 5th, 8th, and 11th grade public school students in Delaware.  The surveys are administered at the public schools in Delaware. This study is the continuation of a survey that was first administered to Delaware students in Spring, 1989. Since 2004, the Delaware School Survey has been jointly sponsored by the Delaware Legislature through the Delaware Health Fund and by support from the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health through federal Prevention Block Grant funding. The objectives of the Delaware School Survey are: A) To provide estimates of students’ Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Abuse (ATODA) attitudes as well as the incidence and prevalence of substance use for National Outcomes Measures (NOMS) reporting and other reports provided to federal agencies; B) To provide estimates of student ATODA incidence, prevalence, abuse, and dependence for state assessment, planning, and funding purposes; C) To provide ongoing trend data; and D) To provide information for other state and local planning and assessment purposes – particularly to individual schools and districts.

COVID-19 Impact Statement

2020 Delaware School Survey Data:

•Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the data collection for the Delaware School Survey was temporarily suspended. This suspension resulted in a gap in Delaware School Survey data for the 2020 survey year. However, due to an early administration that started in the 2019-2020 school year for the 8th grade survey, we were able to collect enough surveys in the 2019-2020 school year to report out on 8th grade data. This does allow us to explore the data, but only for that specific grade. Data on 5th and 11th grade students for the 2020 school year will not be available.

2021 Delaware School Survey Data:

•Change in administration: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the remote learning policies adopted by Delaware schools, the Delaware School Survey was converted to an online format in lieu of the traditional paper and pencil format. Districts and Schools could choose to participate using either the online format or paper and pencil format. The majority of the 2021 Delaware School Survey data was collected via an online survey platform Qualtrics. Both formats have the same questions and do not collect personal identifying information.

•Change in 2021 response rate: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, school closures, and changes in the approach to the Delaware School Survey administration, users of the 2021 Delaware School Survey data should note that response rates are lower than average.  As a result, some changes observed in trend data among the 2020 and 2021 data may be partially influenced by these external events and the change in response rate.

New in 2019! See below for slides that highlight the trends of major patterns of consumption. Please download and use the slides for your organization’s presentation and other use.

In order to access Delaware School Survey data at the school level or the school district level, please complete the DSS Data Request Form​ and send it to Jim Highberger at  Please note that the form must be signed by the school principal or district superintendent and must state exactly what data are requested (what year) and to whom the data should be released.  The form can be signed and submitted electronically if it is sent from the principal’s or superintendent’s official email address.


2021 State Trends.pptx

2021 New Castle County Trends.pptx

2021 Kent County Trends.pptx

2021 Sussex County Trends.pptx

Annual Reports

2019 DSS State Report       2018 DSS State Report       2017 DSS State Report   

2016 DSS State Report       2015 DSS State Report       2014 DSS State Report 

2013 DSS State Report       ​2012 DSS State Report       2011 DSS State Report

2010 DSS State Report       2009 DSS State Report       2008 DSS State Report

2007 DSS State Report       2006 DSS State Report       2005 DSS State Report

2004 DSS State Report       2003 DSS State Report       2002 DSS State Report   ​     

2001 DSS Sate​ Report         2000 DSS State Report       1999 DSS State Report  

1998 DSS State Report       1997 DSS State Report       1996 DSS State Report  

1995 DSS State Report

Important Domains of Youth Health and Wellness  Measured by DSS

Domain Sheet of 5th Grade Surveys

Domain Sheet of 8th and 11th Grade Surveys

8th and 11th Grade Surveys

8th and 11th Grade Surveys from 2005

DSS Secondary 2022     DSS Secondary 2021     DSS Secondary 2020 

DSS Secondary 2019     DSS Secondary 2018     DSS Secondary 2017

DSS Secondary 2016     DSS Secondary 2015     DSS Secondary 2014

DSS Secondary 2013     DSS Secondary 2012     DSS Secondary 2011

DSS Secondary 2010     DSS Secondary 2009     DSS Secondary 2008

DSS Secondary 2007     DSS Secondary 2006     DSS Secondary 2005

8th and 11th Grade Surveys before 2005

DSS 11th 2004                               DSS 8th 2004

DSS 11th 2003                               DSS 8th 2003

DSS 11th 2002                               ​DSS 8th 2002

DSS 11th 2001                               DSS 8th 2001

DSS 11th 2000                               DSS 8th 2000

DSS 11th 1999                               DSS 8th 1999

1998-1995 Available​ Upon Request

5th Grade Surveys

DSS 5th 2021     DSS 5th 2020     DSS 5th 2019    DSS 5th 2018

DSS 5th 2017     DSS 5th 2016     DSS 5th 2015    DSS 5th 2014

DSS 5th 2013     DSS 5th 2012     DSS 5th 2011    DSS 5th 2010

DSS 5th 2009     DSS 5th 2008     DSS 5th 2007    DSS 5th 2006

DSS 5th 2005     DSS 5th 2004     DSS 5th 2003    DSS 5th 2002

DSS 5th 2001     DSS 5th 2000     DSS 5th 1999

1998-1995 Available​ Upon Request ​