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Participate in Monitoring the Future (Middle School and High School)

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Activity Description

The Monitoring the Future (MTF) project studies the changing beliefs, attitudes, and behavior of young people in the United States.

This study focuses on youth’s diverse opinions on issues such as government, politics, alcohol, drug use, gender roles and protection of the environment. Students are presented with the same set of questions over a period of years to see how answers change over time. Results of the study are used to monitor trends in substance abuse among adolescents and young adults and are used routinely in the White House Strategy on Drug Abuse.

Four Types of Change

  1. Particular years reflected across age groups (secular trends or "period effects")
  2. Developmental ("age effects")
  3. Consistent differences among class cohorts through the life cycle ("cohort effects")
  4. Types of environments (high school, college, employment)

Prior to the administration of the survey, students in grades eight, ten and twelve are given flyers explaining the study and their parents are informed about the study through a letter sent home with their student. This provides them a method of declining their child's participation before the survey is administered.

The survey is conducted by the local Institute for Social Research representatives and their assistants. The questionnaires are administered during a normal class period whenever possible. A follow-up survey is then mailed to participants with a return, self-addressed stamped envelope and a small monetary gift from the University of Michigan.

The Monitoring the Future (MTF) project, also known as the National High School Senior Survey, survey has been conducted with the help of research grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a part of the National Institutes of Health. Surveys have been carried every year since 1975, and today approximately 50,000 students in 420 schools participate. How can I do that?Contact Monitoring the Future to get information about how your school and/or your classroom can participate.


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