Lloyd Johnston and Jerry Bachman initiated this study to look at adolescent drug use and attitudes among American 12th graders, and in 1991 expanded it to include 8th and 10th grade students. The annual survey of some 50,000 students has provided key information about trends in drinking, smoking, and drug use; changing attitudes and values among youth; and impacts of tobacco marketing strategies, helping to guide the nation’s alcohol and drug prevention strategies.

In order to make its phone interviewers more productive and to allow them to pose questions in more complicated sequences, ISR became one of the first academic survey organizations to use computer-assisted telephone interviewing, in which interviewers enter information directly into a computer. ISR expanded this approach in the early 1990s with computer-assisted personal interviewing, outfitting interviewers with laptops for face-to-face interviews.

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