World Health Organization Collaborative Cross-National Study


Adolescent Health and Development in the WHO European Region: Can we do better?

July 2019

HBSC Ireland data is featured a new report from the WHO European Regaion. The report  supports countries in the European Region to take action to improve their adolescents’ health and development. The report provides a rationale for investing in children 10–19 years old in the context of the Global Accelerated Action for the Health of Adolescents (AA-HA!) and investing in children the WHO European strategy for child and adolescent health (2015–2020).

Scott, E., Whitehead, R., Aleman-Diaz, A.Y., & Weber, M. (2019). Adolescent health and development in the WHO Europen Region: Can we do better? Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2019.  download

Recent Presentations

June 2019

HBSC team member Kiah Finnegan presented findings from an online survey regarding schools preferences for online or paper questionnaires for future HBSC studies at the recent Annual Health Promotion Conference: Building a Healthy Ireland: promoting health and welling being in educational settings.
Finnegan, K., Gavin, A., Kolto, A., Kelly, C., & Nic Gabhainn, S. (2019). Should the Irish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) data collection move online? Presented at the 23rd Annual Health Promotion Conference: building a healthy Ireland: promoting health and wellbeing in educational settings, NUIG Galway, June 2019. download (564KB)

AK Iceland presentationAt the recent HBSC Spring Network Meeting held in Reykjavik, Iceland between 18-20 June 2019, HBSC Ireland Senior Postdoctoral Researcher Dr Andras Kolto received Special Commendation for his presentation on LGBTI+ equality and perceived health of young people. 

Kolto, A., & Nic Gabhainn, S. (2019). LGBTI+ equality and self-reported health of 15-year-old adolescents in eight European countries. download (2044KB)

UNESCO report "Behind the Numbers: Ending School Violence and Bullying"

February 2019

A new report ‘Behind the numbers: Ending school violence and bullying’ published  by UNESCO found bullying is a widespread problem that no society in the world is immune from. The publication provides an overview of the most up-to-date evidence on school violence and bullying, including global and regional prevalence and trends from the HBSC study and GSHS survey, and of evidence from successful national responses to school violence and bullying.

Growing Up in Ireland

October 2018

The latest report from the Growing Up in Ireland study is launched today (17 October 2018). The report The Lives of 13-Year-Olds highlights significant inequalities with socially disadvantaged children and makes several references to HBSC Ireland data.

Recent WHO Reports

October 2018

In addition to the recent report 'Adolescent Alcohol-related behaviours: trends and inequalities in the WHO European Region 2002-2014'  (see below for more information) the WHO have published a number of other reports that contain HBSC Ireland data:

Trends and inequalities in adolescent alcohol behaviours across Europe

September 2018

A new report launched on September 26th by the World Health Organisation European Office includes data from HBSC Ireland on alcohol use among schoolchildren in Ireland between 2002 and 2014. Overall the report demonstrates that alcohol consumption, early initiation and drunkeness are decreasing across Europe and that there are fewer gender differences in alcohol behaviour than in the past. Of particular relevance are very substantial (around 20%) reductions in drunkeness among adolescents in Ireland between 2002 and 2014.
“To ensure the successes achieved so far are maintained, governments are urged to adopt approaches which engage the population at all ages. In addition, more efforts are needed, particularly in countries where the rate of change has been slow. Investments in adolescent health pay off with a triple dividend of benefits for adolescents – now, for their future adult lives and for the next generation.” Carina Ferreira Borges | WHO Regional Office for Europe Programme Manager for Alcohol and Illicit Drugs 
The full report can be downloaded from 

Alcohol use, unhealthy eating signal youths' sexual activity: study

September 2018

An article in the Irish Examiner on Saturday September 1st reports on HBSC Ireland findings on adolescent sexual health. The piece, written by Noel Baker,  refers to the recently published journal article 'Socio-demographic, health and lifestyle factors influencing age of sexual initation among adolescents' in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.  The study looks at the relationship between socio-demographic, health and lifestyle factors, and the timing of first sexual intercourse among 15 to 17-year-olds, using data in the 2014 Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children Ireland study of 879 sexually active adolescents.

Both articles can be downloaded here:

Alcohol use, unhealthy eating signal youths' sexual activity: study - Irish Examiner

Burke, L., Nic Gabhainn, S. & Kelly, C. (2018). Socio-demographic, health and lifestyle factors influencing age of sexual initation among adolescents. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 15(9), 1851 download

32nd EHPS annual conference

August 2018

EHPS 2018 HBSC Ireland team members

HBSC Ireland was well represented at the recent European Health Psychology conference. Team members Lorraine Burke, Colette Kelly and András Kolto all presented at the conference held in NUIG Galway from 21st - 25th August 2018. The conference theme was Health Psychology Across the Lifespan: Uniting Research, Practice and Policy.

View the presentations here:

Burke, L., Kelly, C. & Nic Gabhainn, S. (2018). Cultural and health factors associated with early sexual initation. download (354KB)

Kelly, C. (2018). School food environments and adolescent health. download (864KB)

Kolto, A. & Nic Gabhainn, S. (2018). Romantic attraction and psychocomatic symptoms in adolescents from eight European countries. download (825KB)

Youth Smoking in Ireland: a special analysis of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study

June 2018

2018 youth smoking - special analysis of HBSC
This report prepared on behalf of the Tobacco Free Ireland Programme, Health Service Executive  was launched at the Tobacco Free Ireland Partners Conference held to mark World No Tobacco Day (31 May 2018). Read the full report Youth Smoking in Ireland - A Special Analysis of the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) Study.

President's Award for Societal Impact 2017

Group photo of societal impact award

The President's awards for Societal impact was launched in its first year in 2017.  There were three individual awards and one group award presented. The HBSC Ireland team were winners of the group award. Click here for more information about the award.