The Big Picture: An overview of the 2023 BC Adolescent Health Survey provincial results
This report shares provincial findings of the 2023 BC Adolescent Health Survey, which was completed by around 38,500 young people aged 12–19 in 59 of BC’s 60 school districts.
Searching for a place: The health and well-being of homeless and unstably housed youth in BC
The report briefly shares results from the 2023 BC Adolescent Health Survey, showing the prevalence of homelessness for youth aged 12-19, before moving on to consider the health of youth aged 12-27 with experience of homelessness and housing instability who completed the 2023 Homeless Youth Health and Wellness Survey.
Meaningfully engaging young people with lived experience in the research that affects them
Based on our experience of engaging young people in community-based and participatory research, we created a resource which documents the lessons learned from that work, and specifically from the development and sustainability of McCreary’s Youth Research Academy (YRA). An abridged toolkit is also available.
Youth transitioning out of care in Metro Vancouver: A report prepared for TRRUST Collective Impact
This report was prepared for TRRUST Collective Impact to assist with a review of the collective’s progress in contributing to improving outcomes for youth transitioning out of care in Metro Vancouver. The results will also be used to help set the direction and focus of the collective moving forward.
Youth transitioning out of care in BC: Spring 2023 update
This report shares updated findings from the Youth Research Academy’s (YRA) longitudinal study of youth transitioning out of care in BC. This is the first report since major improvements in services and supports for youth transitioning out of care were announced.
Experiences of local youth in and from Government care
This report was produced for Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition and considers the experiences of local youth with government care experience. The report uses data from the BC Adolescent Health Survey and the Youth Transitioning Out of Care study.
Youth mental health and the COVID-19 pandemic: Conversations with young people
This report shares the perspectives of over 200 youth in the VCH region about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their mental health and well-being. The report also offers their suggestions for how young people’s well-being can be better supported in their communities.
Raven’s Children V: A profile of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit youth health in BC
The report uses data from the BC Adolescent Health Survey to profile the health of Indigenous youth.
Not yet equal (the sequel): Results of the BC Adolescent Health Survey
This report uses data from the 2008, 2013, and 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey to consider the health and well-being of sexual minority youth in BC. The report was produced in partnership with the University of British Columbia’s Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre (SARAVYC).
Youth transitioning out of care in BC: March 2022 update
This report shares updated findings from the Youth Research Academy’s (YRA) longitudinal study of youth transitioning out of care in BC, along with a new section about protective factors linked to greater health and well-being for youth transitioning out of care.
Are we supporting the rights of BC youth with physical or sensory conditions? A 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey report
This report shares findings of the health and well-being of BC youth with a physical disability, sensory disability, and chronic health condition with data from the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey (BC AHS) using the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as a framework.
The mental health of BC youth with government care experience: A Youth Research Academy report
This report was produced by McCreary's Youth Research Academy (YRA) using data from the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey (BC AHS) and shares findings on the mental health of BC youth in and from government care, including protective factors linked to positive mental health and well-being.
Violence exposure: The victimization experiences of male, female, and non-binary youth in BC
The report considers various types of victimization experiences among over 38,000 youth aged 12–19 who completed the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey (2018 BC AHS). It also shares findings on youth who are at greater risk of violence exposure, potential outcomes linked to victimization, and protective factors for youth who have experienced violence.
Vaping among BC youth with government care experience: A Youth Research Academy report
This report was produced by McCreary's Youth Research Academy (YRA) using data from the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey (BC AHS) and shares findings about vaping among BC youth in and from government care. Findings in the report include who was more likely to vape, protective factors linked to lower rates of vaping, and supports that can be helpful to youth who vape.
Youth transitioning out of care in BC: A preliminary report
This report shares the preliminary findings from the Youth Research Academy’s longitudinal study of youth aging out of care in BC.
Understanding the odds: Gambling among BC youth aged 12–18
This report shares findings from the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey (BC AHS) on underage gambling in BC.
Gender Diverse: A spotlight on the health of trans and non-binary young people in BC
This report shares findings from the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey on the health of gender-diverse youth, in partnership with the Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre (SARAVYC) at UBC.
Doing OK? Checking in on the mental health of BC youth
This report shares findings on the mental health of BC youth from the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey.
Youth vaping during COVID-19
In June, September, and December 2020, 28 youth researchers from across BC collected over 3,500 surveys from their peers about their experiences with vaping during the COVID-19 pandemic. This report shares findings from these surveys. The youth researchers also created a video presentation of the results. Also, Russell Teibert, Vancouver Whitecaps Captain and McCreary Board Member, created a video to share with youth what he’s learned through sport about life, facing adversity, and finding the people in your community who can help you succeed.
Understanding Tobacco Use and Vaping among BC Youth
This report takes an in-depth look at tobacco use among BC adolescents (aged 12–19) including trends over the past 15 years, the use of different smoking products, and risk and protective factors for regular smoking. It also considers vaping and how that differs from the use of cigarettes and other nicotine products.
Supports in the Spotlight
Supports in the Spotlight was produced the Youth Research Academy (YRA) using data from the 2013 and 2018 BC Adolescent Health Surveys (BC AHS) to identify protective factors that can support youth in and from government care to achieve positive health and well-being. The report includes quotes from youth with care experience who completed the 2018 BC AHS, reflections on the findings from YRA members, and suggestions for how best to support youth in and from care.
Connections and Companionship II
Connections and Companionship II is a sequel to a 2016 report which looked at the relationship between adolescents and their pets. It includes data from the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey and from a 2020 survey specifically about youth’s relationship with their pet.
Prescribing pain: Misuse of prescription medication, heroin and other substances among youth in BC
This report was prepared by McCreary's Youth Research Academy and provides an overview of substance use among BC youth with a focus on the misuse of prescription medication and heroin. Reflections on the findings by YRA members are included throughout the report.
Blunt Talk II: A picture of cannabis use among BC youth
Blunt Talk II is a sequel to McCreary’s 2016 Blunt Talk report and includes data from the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey. The report considers which cannabis users might be at greatest risk of harms in order to foster an upstream approach to dealing with potentially harmful use. The report also provides youth reflections on the data.
Ta Saantii Deu/Neso: A Profile of Métis Youth Health in BC
Using data from the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey, the report looks at the current health picture of Métis youth, their changing needs, and at disparities between the health of Métis and non-Métis youth.
Beyond a Dreamcatcher: Improving services for Indigenous justice involved youth with substance use challenges - A youth-led study
This report shares promising practices and recommendations to reduce barriers to engaging with substance use services for Indigenous youth who are justice-involved or at risk of justice involvement. The study was conducted between 2017 and 2019 by members of McCreary’s Youth Research Academy. In addition to the youth researchers, over 300 Indigenous youth participated in the project.
Balance and Connection in BC Next Steps Workshop Toolkit: A resource to share the results of the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey with young people
This toolkit provides a workshop template for facilitators to share the results of the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey with young people in British Columbia. It includes an introduction to the results, activities to learn about risk and protective factors, and discussion questions to explore youth health in your school or community. The accompanying PowerPoint contains a bank of trivia questions for the Trivia Time game.
Clearing the Air: A youth-led research project about vaping
The Vaping Research Slam was a fast-paced weekend project during which YRA members and other young people investigated vaping among BC youth. Over two days, youth discussed their views on vaping; generated ideas to support youth who vape and to share the potential risks of vaping with their peers; analyzed data from the BC Adolescent Health Survey, and presented their findings and key messages to stakeholders.
Youth Research Slam 2019: A youth-led research project about substance use
Over Spring Break 2019, 14 youth aged 15–24 took part in the third annual Research Slam. They investigated substance use and its effect on youth health, as well as how to support youth to make healthier choices when it comes to substance use. This report was created as part of a project to better understand youth substance use and substance-related harms in the context of the current opioid crisis.
Balance and Connection in BC: The health and well-being of our youth
This report shares provincial findings of the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey, which was completed by 38,015 Grade 7-12 students in schools across British Columbia.
2018 BC AHS Regional reports (Health Service Delivery Area):
HSDA 1 - Balance and Connection in the Northwest:
HSDA 2 - Balance and Connection in the Northeast:
HSDA 3 - Balance and Connection in the Northern Interior:
HSDA 4 - Balance and Connection in Thompson Cariboo Shuswap:
HSDA 5 - Balance and Connection in Okanagan:
HSDA 6 - Balance and Connection in Kootenay Boundary:
HSDA 7 - Balance and Connection in East Kootenay:
HSDA 8 - Balance and Connection in North Vancouver Island:
HSDA 9 - Balance and Connection in Central Vancouver Island:
HSDA 10 - Balance and Connection in South Vancouver Island:
HSDA 11 - Balance and Connection in North Shore/Coast Garibaldi:
HSDA 12 - Balance and Connection in Vancouver:
HSDA 13 - Balance and Connection in Richmond:
HSDA 14 - Balance and Connection in Fraser North:
HSDA 15 - Balance and Connection in Fraser South:
HSDA 16 - Balance and Connection in Fraser East:
For additional fact sheets, infographics, and posters using 2018 BC AHS data, click here.
Food and mood: A youth-led study into nutrition and mental health
Over Spring Break 2018, the Youth Research Academy hosted the second annual Research Slam. Participants analyzed data from the 2013 BC Adolescent Health Survey (BC AHS) relating to nutrition and mental health, and created their own survey to answer questions not addressed in the BC AHS. This report shares the results of that survey as well as recommendations to improve nutrition and mental health among young people.
Starting a conversation: An upstream approach to reducing potentially harmful substance use among BC youth
This report considers ways that potentially harmful substance use among BC youth can be addressed by taking an upstream approach that focuses on building internal and external protective factors, rather than specifically on preventing the early or excessive use of psychoactive substances. A summary of the report is available to download here.
Youth Research Slam: A model for engaging experiential youth in community-based research
In March 2017, the Youth Research Academy hosted a Research Slam, which trained other youth in community-based research skills over a two-week period. As part of the project, Research Slam participants created an online survey about how youth manage stress, which was distributed to 586 young people world wide over one weekend. This report highlights the results of that survey and details the Research Slam process.
Strategies to reduce risky alcohol use among underage girls: An evidence review
Risk and protective factors for alcohol use among female adolescents are often different from those for males, as are their motivations for drinking. Based on an extensive search of the academic and grey literature, this evidence review considers which strategies are the most promising for addressing underage girls’ problematic alcohol use, and identifies a number of policies and interventions which may be effective. The report also includes a review of alcohol related messaging aimed at reducing harmful alcohol use conducted by McCreary’s Youth Research Academy.
More than Grades
This report shares the perspectives of BC youth with government care experience with respect to the barriers and supports they experience in achieving educational success. The report is part of a larger project conducted by the BC Office of the Representative for Children and Youth.
Connections and Companionship: The health of BC youth with pets
Connections and Companionship is the first report examining the relationship between BC youth and their companion animals. This report describes some of the benefits of pet ownership, including a links to positive health and feelings of safety, but also identifies some of the associated barriers, such as accessing housing and health care.
Ta Saantii: A profile of Métis youth health in BC
Ta Saantii is the first in-depth look at the health of Métis youth. The findings show that Métis youth are making a number of healthier choices compared to their peers five years ago, but that there are still disparities between male and female youth, urban and rural youth, and Métis and non-Métis youth.
School-based interventions to reduce health disparities among LGBTQ youth: Considering the evidence
A joint report from McCreary and SARAVYC (UBC) shows LGBTQ support programs in schools could reduce suicide attempts, binge drinking and other health risk behaviours among students.
Blunt Talk: Harms associated with early and frequent marijuana use among BC youth
Blunt Talk provides a snapshot of marijuana use among BC youth and identifies where use is linked to negative health consequences. This report also creates a baseline description of young people's marijuana use prior to upcoming changes in legislation.
A Step Forward: Turning youth health research into community action
McCreary is committed to taking the results of the BC AHS back to young people through Next Steps workshops. A Step Forward describes youth's responses to the findings of the AHS, and showcases the projects youth created to address local health issues in eight communities across the province.
Raven's Children IV: Aboriginal Youth Health in BC
Raven's Children IV provides a comprehensive picture of the health of Aboriginal youth in BC using data from the 2013 BC AHS. The report was overseen by an advisory committee of experts in Aboriginal youth health, and reviewed by Elders, youth and other Aboriginal community members across the province.
Untangling the web: online safety and sexting among BC youth
Untangling the web considers risk and protective factors for safer use of technology among BC youth.
In response to an online safety workshop that included findings from Untangling the Web, students from Argyle Secondary School's Digital Media Academy created multimedia projects to share what they learned with a youth audience.
Unspoken Thoughts and Hidden Facts: A snapshot of BC youth's mental health
This report, Unspoken Thoughts and Hidden Facts, is the work of 28 young people who share a common interest in promoting positive mental health by increasing awareness and understanding of youth mental health.
How Many Is Too Many for BC Youth? Alcohol use and associated harms
How Many Is Too Many for BC Youth? focuses on alcohol use among BC youth, and specifically what was found to constitute more harmful levels of drinking, as well as risks and protective factors.
AHS Do-It-Yourself Workshop Manual
A DIY guide to holding your own workshop and sharing the results of the 2013 BC Adolescent Health Survey with youth.
Talking About Youth Health
McCreary asked youth for feedback on a range of data about youth health. We have compiled youth's feedback about the BC AHS into a report which provides context to the survey findings and will inform the development of the 2018 survey.
Our communities, our youth: The health of homeless and street-involved youth in BC
This report profiles the health of youth who are homeless, precariously housed, or involved in a street lifestyle, and describes not only the challenges in their lives, but also their continued engagement in school and community.
We All Have A Role: Building social capital among youth in care
In partnership with Vancouver Foundation, this report highlights the importance of social capital among youth in government care.
Sexual Health of Youth in BC
Using data from the 2013 BC Adolescent Health Survey, McCreary's first full length report looking at the sexual health of youth.
Listening to Young Women's Voices II
This report is based on interviews with 57 girls aged 13-19 at the Burnaby Youth Custody Centre, following the centralization of custody services in Burnaby.
From Hastings Street to Haida Gwaii: Provincial results of the 2013 BC Adolescent Health Survey
The provincial findings of the 2013 BC AHS, McCreary's fifth survey of Grade 7-12 students in schools across British Columbia.
McCreary published 16 regional reports, one for each of the province's Health Service Delivery Areas.
- 1 - Northwest: Download / Media Release / Powerpoint
- 2 - Northeast: Download / Media Release / Powerpoint
- 3 - Northern Interior: Download / Media Release / Powerpoint
- 4 - Thompson Cariboo Shuswap: Download / Media Release / Powerpoint
- 5 - Okanagan: Download / Media Release / Powerpoint
- 6 - Kootenay Boundary: Download / Media Release / Powerpoint
- 7 - East Kootenay: Download / Media Release / Powerpoint
- 8 - North Vancouver Island: Download / Media Release / Powerpoint
- 9 - Central Vancouver Island: Download / Media Release / Powerpoint
- 10 - South Vancouver Island: Download / Media Release / Powerpoint
- 11 - North Shore/Coast Garibaldi: Download / Media Release / Powerpoint
- 12 - Vancouver: Download / Media Release / Powerpoint
- 13 - Richmond: Download / Media Release / Powerpoint
- 14 - Fraser North: Download / Media Release / Powerpoint
- 15 - Fraser South: Download / Media Release / Powerpoint
- 16 - Fraser East: Download / Media Release / Powerpoint
Breaking Through the Barriers
Fifty young people with FASD, as well as 55 caregivers and service providers, were interviewed for their perspectives on risks associated with FASD, service barriers, and effective approaches and supports that can reduce the risk of substance use and facilitate youth's healthy transition to adulthood.
Negotiating Barriers to Employment
The study spoke with 150 young people about the employment barriers they face, as well as the supports that have been successful in helping them find and maintain employment. McCreary produced the report for the BC Centre for Employment Excellence.
Supporting Youth in Our Communities
This manual was created for use in Yukon by adults who want to become better allies to the youth in their community.
Take Me By The Hand
This report further explores the responses of youth participants in focus groups for the Still Waiting report released by the Representative for Children and Youth.
This report profiles the experiences of young people who have struggled with substance use and mental health challenges, and shares their suggestions for creating and supporting youth engaged services.
Voices From the Inside II
This report captures youth's responses to Time Out III and their ideas for improving the lives of BC youth in conflict with the law.
Time Out III
This report looks at the health and experiences of 114 young people aged 12-19 who were in custody between August 2012 and January 2013. This is McCreary's third survey of youth in custody.
Métis youth health report
McCreary’s first ever Métis youth health report.
Raven's Children III: Aboriginal Youth Health in BC
McCreary's review of the health of Aboriginal youth in BC using data from the 2008 BC AHS. The report was overseen by an advisory committee of experts in Aboriginal youth health, and includes data from over 3,000 Aboriginal youth as well as input from more than 100 Aboriginal youth and adults across the province who reviewed the findings.
Fostering Potential: The lives of BC youth with government care experience
McCreary's profile of the experiences of BC youth who have been involved in the government care system and details many protective factors that promote their health and well-being.
Making the Right Connections: Promoting positive mental health among BC youth
This report provides an overview of the mental health of BC youth, considers youth who are at risk for mental health challenges, looks at the effects these mental health challenges may have on other aspects of health, and considers what promotes positive mental health in even the most vulnerable populations of young people.
Moving in the Right Direction: Physical activity among BC youth
This report highlights the many benefits of physical activity for young people but also identifies barriers to participation as well as risk and protective factors.
What a difference a year can make: Early alcohol and marijuana use among 16- to 18-year-old BC students
This report uses data provided by the 10,000 16 to 18 year olds who completed the 2008 BC AHS, showing that youth are waiting longer than their peers a decade ago to try these substances. It also examines the different health behaviours and outcomes between those who use alcohol or marijuana at 12 and younger and those who wait longer to try these substances.
Drug Use Among 16 to 18 year old BC students
A factsheet looking at how the use of alcohol and marijuana is widespread among 16-18 year olds, but that the use of other substances is much less common. Those youth who do use these substances are often coping with negative experiences in their lives and need the support of family, schools, peers and their communities.
Adolescent Substance use and related harms in British Columbia
This 8 page bulletin using data from the 2008 Adolescent Health Survey shows that the rates of students using alcohol, marijuana or tobacco have declined over the past decade. The report is a joint publication of McCreary Centre Society and the Centre of Addictions Research of BC.
Measuring Our Health
The first of two reports as part of the larger 'Growing up in BC' project of the Representative for Children and Youth and Provincial Health Officer, 'Measuring Our Health' records BC youth's feedback on the initial indicators proposed for measuring child and youth health and their suggestions for additional indicators.
Treat Us Like We Matter
The second report, 'Treat us like we matter', offers youth's feedback on the data collected to measure child and youth health and their ideas to improve youth health in the province.
A Seat at the Table
This report focuses on youth engagement in civic and community decision-making. It includes a literature review and offers different examples of involving young people in decision-making processes in Vancouver, from the perspectives of youth, service providers and funders.
A Picture of Health: Highlights from the 2008 BC Adolescent Health Survey
The results of the fourth Adolescent Health Survey conducted in 1,760 classrooms across 50 of BC's 59 school districts. The 2008 AHS is the largest survey of its kind in Canada and provides the most comprehensive picture of the physical and emotional health of BC youth, including risk and protective factors.
McCreary published 14 regional reports, for most of the province's Health Service Delivery Areas.
- 1 - Northwest: Download
- 3 - Northern Interior: Download
- 4 - Thompson Cariboo Shuswap: Download
- 5 - Okanagan: Download
- 6 - Kootenay Boundary: Download
- 7 - East Kootenay: Download
- 8 - North Vancouver Island: Download
- 9 - Central Vancouver Island: Download
- 10 - South Vancouver Island: Download
- 11 - North Shore/Coast Garibaldi: Download
- 12 - Vancouver: Download
- 13 - Richmond: Download
- 14 - Fraser North: Download
- 15/16 - Fraser South/Fraser East: Download
Moving Upstream: Aboriginal Marginalized and Street-Involved Youth in BC
This report analyzes the experiences in nine B.C. communities of more than 400 homeless, inadequately housed, street-involved and marginalized Aboriginal youth ages 12 to 18. The report also includes the response to these findings from Aboriginal community members, and calls for increased services.
Improving the Odds: Next Steps Workshops with Marginalized and Street Involved Youth
Summarizing workshops McCreary Centre Society facilitated with street-involved and marginalized youth across the province. The workshops provided youth with opportunities to discuss the results of the report Against the Odds: A profile of marginalized youth in BC (2007), and to make recommendations for change.
Making the Grade
A review of alternative education programs in BC, involving three hundred thirty-nine youth attending 34 alternative education programs for "at- risk" and "high risk" youth across the province, and 62 adult stakeholders.
For reports prior to 2008, please consult the McCreary archive.
To order reports, please complete the appropriate form and send to:
McCreary Centre Society
3552 East Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC, V5K 2A7