HEALTH BEHAVIOUR IN SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN (HBSC) IRELAND

World Health Organization Collaborative Cross-National Study


The Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) survey is a WHO collaborative cross-national study that monitors the health behaviours, health outcomes and social environments of school-aged children every four years. HBSC Ireland surveys school-going children aged 9-18 years. The study is conducted by the HBSC Ireland team, based at the Health Promotion Research Centre, University of Galway.

Latest News

New WHO Europe report on the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic

Decmeber 2023

HBSC Ireland data is included in a new WHO Eurpe report. The report Left behind: inequalities in the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic among adolescents in the WHO European Region: impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people’s health and well-being from the findings of the HBSC survey round 2021/2022 summarizes findings from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children survey round 2021/2022 regarding the unequal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescents’ health and health behaviours in 22 countries and regions of the WHO European Region.


Vaping and e-cigarettes - HSE information booklet for parents, guardians and young people. 

August 2023

Vaping and e-cigaretttes HSE booklet


The HSE have produced a booklet about e-cigarettes and vaping to help people understand the risks associated with vaping. The information, for young people, parents and guardians refers to HBSC Ireland data on e-cigarette use. You can read the booklet here


Traveller Mental Wellness Continuum: A qualitative peer research study of Travellers’ views

October 2023

Traveller Mental Wellness Continuum: A qualitative peer research study of Travellers’ views.

 

Our colleague Margaret Barry and past colleague Tuuli Kuosmanen have launched the 'Traveller Mental Wellness Continuum: A qualitative peer research study of Travellers’ views' in collaboration with the HSE network of Mental Health Service Coordinators for Travellers. HBSC Ireland data is included in this report. You can read the full report here.


LATEST HBSC INTERNATIONAL REPORT - LAUNCHED 10 October 2023

2022 Mental Health International report coverLaunched on World Mental Health Day, 10th October 2023, the report 'A focus on adolescent mental health and well-being in Europe, Central Asia and Canada' is the first in a series of international reports using data from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) survey 2021/2022. 

The report available to download from https://iris.who.int/handle/10665/373201.

Download the presentation slides given by Dr. Alina Cosma at the launch of the Mental Health Report in Athens, Greece.

This first report presents findings on adolescents’ mental health and well-being, with consideration of gender, age, and social inequality, and examines changes over the past 3 survey rounds since the 2013/2014 HBSC survey.

Major report findings include the following.

  • Mental health and well-being are declining, especially among girls – 15-year-old girls’ health is markedly worse in most countries compared to boys.
  • More adolescents are lonelier now than in the previous 2017/2018 survey.
  • The number of adolescents with multiple health complaints, such as sleep problems and nervousness, has increased steadily since 2014.

The report underscores the importance of:

  • placing schools at the centre of mental health promotion and prevention programmes, necessitating resource investment and training;
  • collaborating with community-based services, including hospitals and community mental health centres, for specialized support to children in need; and
  • monitoring child and adolescent mental health through initiatives, such as HBSC, to assess the impact of national or regional activities aimed at improving mental health and well-being. 

International Youth Day 2023

August 2023

Youth participation work conducted by the HBSC Ireland team is the focus of an article published for International Youth Day 2023.

The article ‘Helping young people direct their own health and well-being through research at WHO Collaborating Centre in Ireland’ reports how the team has involved young people inearly discussions about health strategy development and has offered young people opportunities to take an active role in research, to share expectations, define goals and identify appropriate health-care frameworks to meet their personal needs.

Read the full article on the WHO Europe website


New WHO–HBSC data shed light on COVID-19 pandemic's effects on children and adolescents

June 2023

HBSC Ireland data features in four new reports highlighting the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and adolescednts.

For more information see the WHO website

Coping through crisis: COVID-19 pandemic experiences and adolescent mental health and well-being in the WHO European Region. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people’s health and well-being from the findings of the HBSC survey round 2021/2022 (2023)

Age, gender and class: how the COVID-19 pandemic affected school-aged children in the WHO European Region (2023)

A network of care: the importance of social support for adolescents in the WHO European Region during the COVID-19 pandemic (2023)

Navigating uncharted territory: school closures and adolescent experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic in the WHO European Region (2023)


Journal article on body weight perception

July 2022 

HBSC Ireland data is included in a new journal article recently published in the journal Child and Adolescent Obesity.

The article co-authored by Colette Kelly, HBSC Ireland team member, examines time trends in body weight perception between 2002 and 2018 among adolescents from 41 countries and regions. It includes gender and counrty differences and explores the role of changes over time in country-level overweight/obesity prevalence in these trends.

Geraets, A.F.J., Cosma, A., Fismen, A.S., Ojala, K., Pierannunzio, D., Kelly, C., Melkumova, M., Vassallo, C., Gudelj Rakic, J., & Heinz, A. (2023). Cross-national time trends in adolescent body weight perception and the explanatory role of overweight/obesity prevalence. Child and Adolescent Obesity, 6(1). DOI: 10.1080/2574254X.2023.2218148


New Growing Up in Ireland report

November 2022

HBSC Ireland data is referenced in the latest Growing Up in Ireland report.  The Changing Social Worlds of 9-Year-Olds compares the experiences of 9-year-olds born a decade apart by drawing on Wave 1 of the Growing Up in Ireland (GUI) Cohort ’98, conducted in 2007/08, and Wave 5 of GUI Cohort ‘08, conducted in 2017/18. It documents changes in their lives across the domains of relationships with family and peers, day-to-day activities and engagement with formal and informal learning.


New HRB report on alcohol and drug use

September 2022

HBSC Ireland data is included in the latest report in the HRB Overview Series. The report HRB Overview Series 12: Alcohol and other drug use among children and young people in Ireland: prevalence, risk and protective factors, consequences, responses, and policies is now available. The report outlines the prevalence of alcohol and other drug use among young people in Ireland. It examines the risk and protective factors that may encourage or discourage young people to begin using such substances and/or lead to problematic use. It also examines the consequences of drug and alcohol use, such as hospitalisations, deaths, and crime. This overview outlines the responses to drug and alcohol use among young people, including treatment data and the strategies and legislation that guide stakeholders in preventing and minimising harm due to substance use.


NUI Galway Research Impact Case Studies #PurposePeoplePlace

August 2022

HBSC Ireland is featured in the NUI Galway Research Impact Case Studies.

NUIG Research Impact Studies June 2022

For 28 years HBSC Ireland has been recording the health and wellbeing of Ireland’s school-aged children. Read more about the positive impact their research is making on children's lives here.

Watch a video of Professor Saoirse Nic Gabhainn and Professor Colette Kelly reflcting on HBSC Ireland and its impact.