Project Teen Canada 2008

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The Project Teen Canada 2008 national survey is the fourth in a series of national, bilingual research projects examining the values, attitudes, beliefs, behaviour, and expectations of Canadian teenagers. Based on the Project Canada adult surveys, the project has taken representative samples of Canadian teenagers every eight years, creating panel studies through which social change and stability can be monitored.
Data File
Cases: 5,564
Variables: 411
Weight Variable: WT, ABWT, ALTAWT
Weighted national sample size is "WT": 4,600
Aboriginal subsample weight is "ABWT"; sample size 500
Alberta subsample weight is "ALTAWT"; sample size 1,000
Data Collection
Date Collected: 2008
Original Survey (Instrument)
Project Teen Canada 2008 Questionnaire Merged
Funded By
The Lilly Endowment, Inc.
Collection Procedures
The questionnaires were each 12 pages in length and included some 250 variables; they appeared to take about 30-45 minutes to complete. Since a major objective of the youth surveys was to produce data making intergenerational comparisons possible, the youth surveys contained many of the same items that appeared in the Project Canada adult questionnaires. The topics addressed were fairly comprehensive and, like the adult surveys, included themes such as sources of enjoyment, leisure activities, values, beliefs, personal concerns, family life, relationships, views of Canada, views of Canadians, perception of major issues, and hopes and expectations.
Sampling Procedures
In all four of the youth surveys, representative samples of 3,600 teenagers were pursued, making it possible to generalize to the overall adolescent population (about 2 million) with a high level of accuracy (within about three percentage points, either way, 19 times in 20). A sample of that size also increased the accuracy of analyses within aggregates such as region, community size, gender, and race.

Since our interest was in that segment of young people on the verge of adulthood, the samples were restricted to Canadians 15 to 19 years old in grades 10 to 12 across Canada, including CEGEP's in Quebec. These three grades encompassed some two thirds of young people between the ages of 15 and 19. Moreover, some 65 percent of the remaining youth not in high school - including, obviously, teens in post secondary institutions - had been there for one year or more. Moreover, concerning the charge that we missed the dropouts, clearly some of our participants proceeded to drop out while, according to Statistics Canada, as many as one in four of our current students had dropped out at some point in their schooling. Therefore, dropouts were not omitted. To get a reading of secondary students has been to get a highly comprehensive snapshot of the latest "emerging generation" as it passed through high school.

In pursuing the sample size goal of 3,600 high school students, the decision was made to randomly select individual high school classrooms rather than individual students, because of the significant administrative advantages and minimal negative consequences for a random-like sample. The design involved choosing one classroom in each school selected. Based on an average class size of perhaps 25 students, this meant that some 150 schools needed to participate (N=3,750). On the basis of a projected response rate of about 75 percent approximately 200 schools were selected to comprise the sample.

The schools were chosen using multi stage stratified and cluster sampling procedures. The country was first stratified according to the five major regions, with each region then stratified according to community size (100,000 and over, 99,000 to 10,000, less than 10,000). Each community size category was in turn stratified according to school system (public, separate, private). Specific communities within each size stratum were then randomly selected, with the number of communities drawn from each province in the Prairie and Atlantic regions - and from 1992 onward, the North as well - based on population. Finally, one school in each of these communities was chosen randomly. The number of schools selected in cities with more than 100,000 population was proportional to their population in their region. The specific grade of the classroom involved was also randomly designated.

An Important Note Regarding Project Canada 2008 Oversampling: Project Teen Canada 2008 received some funding from the Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research (ACCFCR). As a condition of funding, the Centre requested an Alberta oversample that resulted in 15 additional schools being pursued in that province to ensure a total sample of at least 600 cases.

In addition, in mid-2008, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) in exchange for the inclusion of some specific items and a customized analysis, provided funding for a national supplement sample of some 500 students in band-run schools. The goal was to generate a representative national sample of teens in Aboriginal schools to supplement and complement the main survey. Such a sampling supplement could provide a valuable national reading of Aboriginal young people. But, carried out in conjunction with the Project Teen Canada national youth survey, the sample supplement provided a unique opportunity to compare Aboriginal young people with a large sample of Canadian young people more generally.

A national sample of some 35 schools was selected, supplemented by an Alberta oversample of 15 schools; the latter were drawn with the ACCFCR in mind, to provide a counterpart to the PTC08 oversample in that province.
Principal Investigators
Reginald W. Bibby, James Penner
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