Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS): technical report 2018

Information on the fieldwork and data processing for the 2018 Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS).

This document is part of a collection


1. The full SALSUS 2018 Questionnaire can be found at:

2. Further information on the feasibility study, online pilot and mode effect can be found at:

3. This excludes responses from three local authorities which took part in the Scottish Government programme Realigning Children's Services (RCS), all of which were completed online. For more information on RCS see:

4. For more information about RCS please see

5. The SALSUS 2018 privacy notice is available at

6. Teachers were asked to complete a Class Response Sheet for each class that participated in the study. These forms collected information on how many pupils were normally in the class, how many were present at the time of survey administration and gave reasons for the absence of any pupils who were not present.

7. As cited in Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use among Young People in England 2016, Appendices. Available from:

8. For example, the 2018 Scottish Household survey response rate was 64%, down from 67% in 2007/08. Likewise, the response rate for the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey in 2017/18 was 62%, compared to 71% in 2008, and the 2018 response rate for the Scottish Health Survey was 57% in 2018, down from 61% in 2008.

9. Pupil census information is available from:

10. Where percentages do not sum to 100% this is due to rounding.

11. Deprivation has not been included as the pupil census does not contain this information.

12. The pupil census does not contain this category.

13. The non-response for each of the 25 statements in the strengths and difficulties questionnaire was between 15% and 18%.

14. In Scotland, the school year begins mid-August. Each year group generally consists of pupils born between the start of March one year and the end of February the following year (although children born in January and February can defer starting school for a year).

15. In 2018 Argyll and Bute Council boosted their sample to include all S2 and S4 pupils in their area.

16. For instance, pupils under or over reporting the amount of alcohol they consumed either deliberately (e.g. to hide or exaggerate their consumption) or by accident (i.e. misremembering).

17. As the RCS sample was in fact a census, class was not used as a sampling unit and therefore the data was not clustered in the same way as for the main SALSUS sample. The school was used as the cluster variable in the Deft calculations instead.

18. i.e. the standard errors taking into account the Design Effects

19. This is available from

20. How well off would you say your family/the people you live with are?

21. Type II errors happen if a false null hypothesis is not rejected i.e. failing to detect an effect that is present



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