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News & Events
HEALTH BEHAVIOUR IN SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN (HBSC) IRELAND
World Health Organization Collaborative Cross-National Study
20 Years of Adolescent Health in Ireland
The HBSC study has been running in Ireland since 1994 with the first data collected in 1998. Writing for RTÉ News, Andras Kolto looks back on what we have learnt about the health of the nation's youth over the last 20 years. Here are some highlights:
Decline in damaging risk behaviours
The proportion of young people who smoke fell from 28% in 1998 to just 8% in 2014.
There has been a 25% decrease in the proportion of young people who had their first cigarette age 13 or younger.
In 1998, one in three children reporting to have ever been drunk. In 2014 this number is down to one in five.
We have seen a 20% decrease in the number of young people reporting their first alcoholic drink aged 13 or younger.
The prevalence of bullying others in the last couple of months fell from 25% in 1998 to 13% in 2014.
Rise in health promoting behaviours
Since 1998 there has been a small rise, from 18% to 23%, in the proportion of young people who eat fruit more than once a day.
Regular toothbrushing (more than once a day) has risen from 59% to 69% of young people.
Seatbelt use has increased. In 2014, 80% of young people said that they always use their seatbelt when in a car. In 1998 this was true for as little as 35% of young people.
Supportive social contexts
In 1998, 73% of adolescents said they found it easy to talk to their mother about things that bother them. This had risen to 82% by 2014.
The increase was even more pronounced with communication with fathers, climbing from 47% to 69% for the same period.
72% of young people reported that they liked school in 2014, compared with 68% in 1998. However, the proportion feeling pressured by schoolwork has risen from 33% to 43%.
The full article can be accessed at https://www.rte.ie/eile/brainstorm/2018/0226/943584-what-have-we-learnt-about-childrens-health-over-20-years/
A Familiar Face: Violence in the lives of children and adolescents
A Familiar Face: Violence in the lives of children and adolescents uses the most current data to shed light on four specific forms of violence: violent discipline and exposure to domestic abuse during early childhood; violence at school; violent deaths among adolescents; and sexual violence in childhood and adolescence. HBSC Ireland data on bullying is included in this report.
The statistics reveal that children experience violence across all stages of childhood, in diverse settings, and often at the hands of the trusted individuals with whom they interact on a daily basis. Ensuring that violence in all its forms is recognized as a fundamental violation of children’s human rights and documented through solid data is a first step towards its elimination.
United Nations Children’s Fund. (2017). A Familiar Face: Violence in the lives of children and adolescents. New York: UNICEF. download
Adolescent boys and girls happier in countries with high levels of gender equality
HBSC Ireland data features in a newly published study based on 34 countries that reveals adolescent girls and boys are happier in countries with higher levels of gender equality. The study, published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, highlights the consistent cross-national variation in adolescent life satisfaction across Europe and North America, which has remained poorly understood.
The study reveals that, while taking economic factors such as national wealth and income inequality into account, adolescents have a higher life satisfaction when living in countries with high levels of gender equality, compared to countries with low levels of gender equality.
Not only girls, but also boys appear to benefit from higher levels of societal gender equality. The study furthermore shows that the association between gender equality and adolescent life satisfaction can be explained by social support within the family, peer and school context.
Adolescent health: behaviours, outcomes and social context
19 July 2017
HBSC team member Colette Kelly has posted a blog for SPHeRE (Structured Populations and Health-services Research Education). The post Adolescent health: behaviours, outcomes and social context reports on some of the findings of the recent HBSC report Trends in Health Behaviours, Health Outcomes and Contextual Factors between 1998-2014: findings from the Irish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study.
UNICEF publish report on children and the sustainable development goals
15 June 2017
HBSC Ireland is included in the latest Report Card issued by UNICEF. Building the Future: Children and the Sustainable Delevopment Goals in Rich Countries is the first report to assess the status of children in 41 high-income countries in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) identified as most important for child well-being. It ranks countries based on their performance and details the challenges and opportunities that advanced economies face in achieving global commitments to children.
The report is available to download from the UNICEF website.
HBSC Ireland Trends 1998-2014
30 May 2017
The latest HBSC Ireland report Trends in Health Behaviours, Health Outcomes and Contextual Factors between 1998-2014: findings from the Irish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study now available:
Keane, E., Gavin, A., Perry, C., Molcho, M., Kelly, C. & Nic Gabhainn, S. (2017). Trends in Health Behaviours, Health Outcomes and Contextual Factors between 1998-2014: findings from the Irish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study. Dublin: Department of Health & Galway: Health Promotion Research Centre, National University of Ireland, Galway. download (3.01MB)
This report explores the trends in the health and wellbeing of children in Ireland between 1998 and 2014. To date, HBSC Ireland has collected data from 49,268 school-aged children aged 10-17 years across the Republic of Ireland. The report describes the self-reported health status of children in Ireland over time in relation to key indicators: health behaviours, health outcomes and the contexts of their lives. Internationally comparable trends data are also included.
Download a copy of the presentation given by Professor Saoirse Nic Gabhainn at the launch download (2.85MB)
View the short video highlighting aspects of the report https://www.facebook.com/nuigalway/videos/10154957303399079/
Adolescent obesity and related behaviours: trends and inequalities in the WHO European Region, 2002–2014
17 May 2017
HBSC Ireland data features in the new WHO report Adolescent obesity and related behaviours: trends and inequalities in the WHO European Region, 2002–2014. The report presents the latest trends in obesity, eating behaviours, physical activity and sedentary behaviour from the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) study, and highlights gender and socioeconomic inequalities across the WHO European Region.
Trends have previously been reported separately, but this report brings together for the first time HBSC data on obesity and obesity-related behaviours to review the latest evidence and consider the range and complexity of factors influencing childhood obesity.
Download a copy of the trends charts for Ireland download (870KB)
HBSC Ireland data is included in an article in the current issue of the National Institute of Health Sciences Research Bulletin:
Perry, C.P., Keane, E., Molcho, M. & Nic Gabhainn, S. (2017). Mapping the characteristics of children who report that they 'don't know' the potential consequesces of smoking. National Institute of Health Sciences Research Bulletin, 7(4), 52. download (502KB)
State of the Nation's Children Report: Ireland 2016
Monday 6th March 2017
The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone TD, has today published the State of the Nation's Children Report: Ireland 2016. This is the sixth such report since 2006, and was compiled by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs with data contributions from a broad range of government departments, agencies and research organisations, including HBSC Ireland.
The report points to considerable improvements in key aspects of Irish children’s lives, while also highlighting areas of concern. The State of the Nation's Children: Key Findings Ireland 2016 is also available.
New Short Reports
The HBSC Ireland team have recently completed the following short reports:
Burke, L. & Gavin, A. (2017). HBSC Ireland 2014: young people's drinking in the North Dublin area. Galway: Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway. Short report for Louise McCulloch, North Dublin Regional Drugs Task Force. download (826KB)
Gavin, A. & Keane, E. (2017). HBSC Ireland 2014: club participation and physical activity. Galway: Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway. Short report for Dr Aoife Lane, Waterford Institute of Technology. download (374KB)
Lifestyle behaviours for health and wellbeing
Former HBSC team member Eimear Keane has posted a blog for SPHeRE (Structured Populations and Health-services Research Education). The post Lifestyle behaviours for health and wellbeing contains references to Eimear's work here with HBSC Ireland.
Physical activity, screen time, and the risk of subjective health complaints in school-aged children
The Irish Examiner (January 25) features an article on HBSC Ireland's findings on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and subjective health complaints in school-aged children. The findings are published in the March 2017 edition of Preventative Medicine.
Click here to read the Irish Examiner article.
Click here to link to the Preventative Medicine journal article.
Health at a Glance: Europe 2016
HBSC Ireland data is included in the report Health at a Glance: Europe 2016. State of Health in the EU Cycle. The report presents key indicators of health and health systems in the 28 EU countries, 5 candidate countries to the EU and 3 EFTA countries. The publication is the result of a renewed collaboration between the OECD and the European Commission under the broader "State of Health in the EU" initiative, designed to support EU member states in their evidence-based policy making.
OECD/EU. (2016). Health at a Glance: Europe 2016 – State of Health in the EU Cycle. OECD Publishing, Paris. download
New Journal Articles
An article written by HBSC Ireland team members is now available on-line. The article 'Physical activity, screen time and the risk of subjective health complaints in school-aged children' uses HBSC Ireland 2014 data and explores if meeting physical activity and total screen time (TST) recommendations are associated with the risk of reporting health complaints weekly or more.
Keane, E., Kelly, C., Molcho, M. & Nic Gabhainn, S. (In press). Physical activity, screen time and the risk of subjective health complaints in school-aged children. Preventive Medicine. download
HBSC Ireland data is also used in the following articles:
Whitehead, R., Berg, C., Cosma, A., Gobina, I., Keane, E., Neville, F. Ojala, K. & Kelly, C. (2016). Trends in adolescent overweight perception and its association with psychosomatic health 2002-2014: evidence from 33 countries. Journal of Adolescent Health. download
Young, H., Költő, A., Reis, M., Saewyc, E., Moreau, N., Burke, L., Cosma, A., Windlin, B., Nic Gabhainn, S. & Godeau, E. (In press). Sexual health questions included in the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) Study: and international methodological pilot investigation. BMC Medical Research Methodology. download
Physical Activity Strategy 2016-2025
This physical activity strategy contains HBSC data and was prepared in the light of the existing voluntary global targets set out in the WHO Global action plan for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases 2013–2020, endorsed by the Sixty-sixth World Health Assembly in May 2013. The strategy focuses on physical activity as a leading factor in health and well-being in the European Region, with particular attention to the burden of noncommunicable diseases associated with insufficient activity levels and sedentary behaviour. It aims to cover all forms of physical activity throughout the life-course.
The report is available to down load from the WHO Europe website.
New International Factsheet
WHO Europe have published a new Fact Sheet on adolescent sexual health based on the 2013/2014 HBSC data. The Fact Sheet presents key facts and figures from the 2013/2014 survey along with a comparison to the 2009/2010 survey.
The Sexual Health Fact Sheet is available in English and Russian from the WHO Europe website.
International Fact Sheets from the 2013/2014 survey are also available for the following topics:
These Fact Sheets are available to download in various languages from the WHO Europe website.