Health Behaviour of School Aged Children (HBSC)

Professor Sally Kendall

Funder: Department of Health and Social Care/Department of Education
April 2020 - March 2024 (48 months)

To analyse the realtionships between young people’s health behaviours (, alcohol use, digital technology use) in relation to other determinants such as their family relationships, friendship networks, school life, age, gender and ethnic background.

Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) is the longest running international study that focuses on the health behaviour and social context of young people. The study was initiated in 1982 by researchers from three countries and shortly afterwards the project was adopted by the World Health Organization as a WHO collaborative study. There are now 51 participating countries and regions from across Europe and North America. Data is collected every four years using a survey methodology. England has been represented in the past five survey cycles (since 1997). Research into young people’s health and health behaviours and the factors influencing
them is essential for the development of effective health education and health promotion policy. The current survey in England led by CHSS has recruited over 5000 young people from across England, we are analysing the data and hope to complete the reports of findings in early 2024. The study has been informed by young people from the Sussex Youth Cafe and raises important issues in relation to their physical, emotional and social well being.

The study takes an assets based approach to lives of young people considering strength.

We consult with the Sussex Youth cafe through the study process including their views on survey questions, conference presentations, developing papers for publication and the development of a lesson plan for schools. We have also engaged a PhD student (Roxana Pamplun) who is taking a sub-topic on digital technology and mental health who will be discussing her study with the Youth Cafe also.

Planned outputs include:

  • A national report for England
  • A contribution to the international report
  • Conference papers on emerging findings at the HBSC meetings in Autumn and Spring each year on topics agreed with the Youth cafe

Key impact will be on DHSC/DfE policy in relation to how health education and health behaviours are built into the education strategy for England. Impacts will also reslt for schools at a local level through our individual school feedback and teaching plans, and directly on young people as the school environments adapt to meet their needs. We are holding an impact meeting in October 2022 to fully consider teh pathway to impact.

Who is involved

  • Dr Sabina Hulbert, Co-PI
  • Professor Sally Kendall, Co-PI
  • Tamsyn Eida
  • Erica Ferris
  • Viktoriia Hrytsenko
  • Roxana Pomplun
Last updated 12 December 2023