Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children survey

What did we work on?

The Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) survey is run in 43 countries and was started by just 3 countries in 1983. The purpose is to monitor the health behaviours of school pupils so researchers and policymakers better understand what influences health in young people aged 11-15. The findings are important for countries to develop effective health interventions and policies. The survey runs every 5 years and the Welsh Government uses the results to write a report about the health of young people in Wales.

What did we do?

ALPHA has been involved with the HBSC survey for a number of years:

April 2012 – ALPHA commented on the results of the 2009-10 survey.

April 2013 – ALPHA prioritised the topics in the HBSC survey, to reflect the top three issues most important to them.

June 2013 – ALPHA members attended the HBSC International Meeting in Scotland with other young people, to advise adult researchers on which health topics are important to young people (more about this on ALPHA members’ blog and the film made by youth delegates).

April 14 – Shadowed data collection of the HBSC survey in a secondary school (more about this on ALPHA’s blog).

In May 2014, ALPHA asked if they could look over the HBSC survey as a group. ALPHA staff Hayley and Ed developed a session for ALPHA members to give feedback on the style and content of the survey.

What has happened since?

ALPHA’s feedback on the HBSC survey is currently being written up in a report that will be sent to the international community of researchers that run the study.

What is planned for the future?

It is hoped that by promoting ALPHA’s views on the HBSC survey that the international community will think about they can involve young people in the next round of the study so they can make real changes using the valuable knowledge of young people.


ALPHA members and Hayley, our Involving Young People Research Officer, at the HBSC International Meeting in Scotland.