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Youth Adolescent Questionnaire
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Exploratory: Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)-Pediatric [Recommended for Youths 9 to 21 years of age]
Short Description of Instrument
The Youth/Adolescent Questionnaire (YAQ), based on the validated Nurses' Health Study food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) was developed to reflect the eating habits youths aged 9 to 18 years (Rockett, Wolf, & Colditz, 1995)
The YAQ is a 152-item self-administered FFQ which assesses the previous year's diet in individuals 9-18 years old and requires 20-30 min to complete (Borradaile et al., 2008; Rockett et al., 1995). While based on the Nurses' Health Study FFQ the YAQ concentrates on foods eaten by this age group. For example, a typical item asks a respondent to report the frequency with which they consume a food such as potato chips, or noodles over the previous year. Response categories vary based on the popularity of food types with more popular items like apple juice having response categories of days, weeks, and months and less popular foods like raisins having response categories of weekly or monthly.
Scoring: Questionnaires are optically scanned, and nutrient intakes are computed electronically using an updated database maintained by the Harvard nutrition group. The nutrient intakes represent daily intakes (e.g., total energy, fat, fiber, and calcium) (Borradaile et al., 2008; Rockett et al., 1995).
Strengths: Comprehensive and validated assessment of diet. Updated nutrient database used for derivation of nutrients.
Weaknesses: Not appropriate for assessment of changes in diet over short periods of time (weeks or months). As for all methods based on recall, use in case control studies susceptible to recall bias.
Psychometric properties: There are several studies that demonstrate that this questionnaire can provide useful information on a youth's dietary intake for a certain period.
Reliability and validity: Reproducibility and validation of the YAQ has been published, see Rockett et al., 1997 and Rockett, Wolf, & Colditz, 2012.
Rockett HR, Breitenbach M, Frazier AL, Witschi J, Wolf AM, Field AE, Colditz GA. Validation of a youth/adolescent food frequency questionnaire. Prev Med. 1997;26(6):808-816.
Rockett HR, & Colditz GA. Assessing diets of children and adolescents. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997;65(4 Suppl):1116s-1122s.
Rockett HR, Wolf AM, Colditz GA. (1995). Development and reproducibility of a food frequency questionnaire to assess diets of older children and adolescents. J Am Diet Assoc. 1995;95(3): 336-340.
Other references:
Borradaile KE, Foster GD, May H, Karpyn A, Sherman S, Grundy K, Nachmani J, Vander Veur S, Boruch RF. Associations between the Youth/Adolescent Questionnaire, the Youth/Adolescent Activity Questionnaire, and body mass index z score in low-income inner-city fourth through sixth grade children. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;87(6):1650-1655.
Lamb MM, Ross CA, Brady HL, Norris JM. Comparison of children's diets as reported by the child via the Youth/Adolescent Questionnaire and the parent via the Willett food-frequency questionnaire. Public Health Nutr. 2007;10(7):663-670.
Rockett HR, Wolf AM & Colditz GA. (2012). 2012 Youth Adolescent Food Frequency Questionnaire. Retrieved 6 May 2015, from


Document last updated June 2020