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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.
What is participative research?
Participatory research approaches emerged in the 1970s and have gained growing recognition since. Increasingly, health research has become a collaborative process with the participation of the people likely to be affected by any changes in service provision, policy developments and professional practice as a result of the research findings. Participative research aims to develop, apply and investigate appropriate mechanisms and approaches towards the participation of research participants in all aspects of the research process. The approach explicitly concerns power within the research cycle and the requirement for research to be both empowering and health promoting.
The adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 focused attention on youth participation in particular. In this Convention article 12 states that children and young people should have their opinions taken into account in all major decisions affecting their lives.
Participative research within the Irish HBSC study?
Within the Irish HBSC team we have been working on the development of a range of research methodologies designed to facilitate active participation of young people in the research process. To date, young people have been actively involved in providing data through completing the HBSC questionnaires. However, with increasing recognition of the value of involving young people in various stages of the research process (Alderson, 2001; Sinclair, 2004) we have been striving to achieve this. Youth participation in the HBSC study has been employed with regard to data generation, devising research questions, data analysis, data interpretation and dissemination.
We worked with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs during the 2013/14 HBSC research cycle. A series of participative research workshops with young people on all aspects of the HBSC research cycle were facilitated. Questions were specifically developed by young people for inclusion in the 2014 HBSC questionnaire.
Work on youth participation is also a priority within HBSC International with many countries engaging with youth in their national projects, including Canada, Czech Republic, England, France, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Scotland.
HBSC INTERNATIONAL REPORT MAY 2020 ART COMPETITION
As part of a number of initiatives to involve young people in the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study, children across Europe were asked to contribute their artwork to the HBSC International Report, ‘Spotlight on adolescent health and well-being. Findings from the 2017/2018 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) survey in Europe and Canada.’
An art competition was held across HBSC countries and the winning entry from each country was included in the report. The artwork featured here includes Irish entries to the HBSC international art competition. The artists, aged 13-17, (from top left to bottom right) are: Cormac, Robyn, Dylan, Li, Caoimhe, Rebecca, Jade and Keith. Congratulations to Caoimhe, (age 13) whose artwork was included in the report.
HBSC International meeting - June 2018
Continuing the youth involvement with HBSC International that began at the 30th Anniversary in 2013 a youth engagement social event was held at the International Spring meeting in Warsaw 21-23 June 2018. Watch the video of the session:
HBSC 30th Anniversary - June 2013
At the 30th anniversary of the World Health Organization’s collaborative HBSC survey, held in June 2013, a group of young Irish people, from Galway, Sligo, Cork and Dublin, together with youth groups from England, Wales, Scotland and Canada, came together to help direct and inform the study from the point of view of young people and to display the importance of including young people in the research process. This was the first time young people were involved in an international HBSC network meeting and was so succcesful that youth have been involved in some capacity since.
For more information see:
- HBSC 30th Anniversary Summary Report
- Youth participation in HBSC
- Youth Engagement in HBSC
- "Yes, Malala, we're listening" - youth participation. Blog written by Melinda George.
Watch the video of the session:
Nic Gabhainn, S., Kelly, C., & Sixsmith, J. (2023). Participatory research process: Working with children for children. In D. Jourdan, & L. Potvion (Eds.) Global Handbook of Health Promotion Research, Vol, 3. Springer, Cham. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-20401-2_19
Kelly, C., Daniels, N., Burke, L., Költő, A., O’Donnell, A., McGovern, O., & Nic Gabhainn, S. (2021). The process and impact of involving children in the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study. In D. Horgan & D. Keenan (Eds.) Child and Youth Participation in Policy, Practice and Research. London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003099529.
Kenny, U., Molcho, M. & Kelly, C. (2017). Young people's perspectives in developing a survey item on factors that influence body image. Young 25(4s), 1-19 download
Keane, E. & Nic Gabhainn, S. (2016). HBSC Ireland 2014: description of the child developed 'Does your family play with you?' question asked in HBSC Ireland 2014 study. Galway: Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway. Short report for Department of Children and Youth Affairs. download
Daniels, N., Burke, L., O’Donnell, A., McGovern, O., Kelly, C. & Nic Gabhainn, S. (2015). Piloting questions developed by primary school children for inclusion in the 2014 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study. National Institute of Health Sciences Bulletin, 7(2), 58. download
Daniels, N., Burke, L., O’Donnell, A., McGovern, O., Molloy, A., Kelly, C. & Nic Gabhainn, S. (2015). Piloting questions developed by post-primary school children for inclusion in the 2014 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study. National Institute of Health Sciences Bulletin, 7(2), 59. download
Burke, L., D’Eath, M., Young, H., Nic Gabhainn, S. (2014). An exploration of dissemination tools and mechanisms among young people. Children’s Research Digest, 1 (1): 44-45. download
Kenny, U., Burke, L., Fox, K.A. & Kelly, C. (2014). Their voice: Involving adolescents in developing questions to capture factors influencing body image perceptions in Ireland. Children’s Research Digest, 1 (1): 38-40. download
Clarke, N., Kelly, C., Molcho, M., & Nic Gabhainn, S. (2012). HBSC Ireland: Workshop to access young people’s opinions of the findings of the 2010 Health Behaviour of School-aged Children (HBSC) Survey. Short report. Galway: Health Promotion Research Centre.
Doyle, P., Kelly, C., Cummins, G., Sixsmith, J., O’Higgins, S., Molcho, M. & Nic Gabhainn, S. (2010). Health Behaviour in School-aged Children: What do children want to know? Dublin: Department of Health and Children. download
Kelly, C. & the HBSC Ireland team (2013). Youth Participation: HBSC Ireland. Presented at the International HBSC youth participation meeting. St Andrews, Scotland, April 2013. download (1.35MB)
Clarke, N., Doyle, P., Kelly, C., Cummins, G., Sixsmith, J., O’Higgins, S., Molcho, M. & Nic Gabhainn, S. (2012). What children want to know about health, happiness and emotional wellbeing. Presented at Changing the System: Overcoming Barriers to Well-Being in Ireland. Galway, June 2012. download (598KB)
Clarke, N., Kelly, C., Molcho, M. & Nic Gabhainn, S. (2012). Young people’s perspectives on the findings of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Survey 2010. Poster presentation at 16th Annual Health Promotion Conference: Embracing New Agendas for Health Promotion Action: Developing workforce competencies for effective practice. Galway, June 2012. download (398KB)
Clarke, N., Doyle, P., Kelly, C., Cummins, G., Sixsmith, J., O’Higgins, S., Molcho, M. & Nic Gabhainn, S. (2011). Health Behaviour in School-aged Children: What do children want to know? Report presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Network, Cluj-Napoaca, June 2011. download (640KB)
Cummins, G., Doyle, P., Kelly, C., Sixsmith, J., Molcho, M. & O’Higgins, S. (2010). Developing a youth friendly HBSC health resource in consultation with children and young people. Presented to the 32nd International School Psychology Association Annual Conference entitled: School psychology - making life better for all children, Trinity College, Dublin, July 2010. download (3.56MB)
Doyle, P., Kelly, C., Cummins, G., Sixsmith, J., Molcho, M., O’Higgins, S. & Nic Gabhainn, S. (2010). In consultation with young people: the process of producing a youth friendly resource using data from HBSC Ireland. Paper presented to Researching Young Lives: Power, Representation and the Research Process, Conference of the Institute for the Study of Knowledge in Society, Limerick, April 2010. download (1.27MB)
Cummins, G., Kelly, C., Doyle, P., Molcho, M., Sixsmith, J. & Nic Gabhainn, S. (2009). The process of producing a youth friendly resource using data from HBSC Ireland 2006. Paper presented to the 13 th Annual HPRC conference: Closing the Gap in Child and Adolescent Health: the Settings Approach, Galway, June 2009. download (29KB)
Alderson, P. (2001). Research by children. Social Research Methodology, 4, 139-153.
Sinclair, R. (2004). Participation in practice: making it meaningful, effective and sustainable. Children & Society, 18, 106-118.