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, NUI Galway.
As a result of the recent cyber attack on NUI Galway a number of downloads are not currently available. Please bear with us while we correct this problem. If you require any assistance please email hbsc@nuigalway.ie.

Within Ireland data has been collected since 1998 over 6 survey rounds (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018). Internationally data has been collected for over 25 years. Findings have been widely disseminated and this page highlights publications which include HBSC Ireland data and compare results over time.

Watch the video recording of the webinar held on 8th March 2021 to launch the report Trends in Health Behaviours, Health Outcomes and Contextual Factors between 1998-2018: findings from the Irish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study.

HBSC Ireland Trends report infographic

download a print copy of this Infographic of findings from the latest HBSC Ireland Trends report

Trends in Health Behaviours, Health Outcomes and Contextual Factors between 1998-2018.

2021 HBSC Trends report cover‌The HBSC Ireland report Trends in Health Behaviours, Health Outcomes and Contextual Factors between 1998-2018: findings from the Irish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study was launched on 8th March 2021 by Frank Feighan, Minister of State with responsibility for Public Health, Wellbeing and National Drugs Strategy.

The report explores the trends in the health and wellbeing of children in Ireland between 1998 and 2018. To date, HBSC Ireland has collected data from 62,720 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 the report:

Gavin, A., Költő, A., Kelly, C., Molcho, M., & Nic Gabhainn, S. (2021). Trends in Health Behaviours, Health Outcomes and Contextual Factors between 1998-2018: findings from the Irish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study. Dublin: Department of Health download

Download a copy of the press release: English version download,   Irish version download

Watch the video of the comment made by children presented durinng the launch webinar.


Trends in Health Behaviours, Health Outcomes and Contextual Factors between 1998-2014.

HBSC Ireland Trends report 1998-2014

The 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  was launched on 30 May 2017 by Deputy Marcella Corcran Kennedy T.D., Minister of State for Health Promotion at the Department of Health.

The 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 the report:
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)

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/


HBSC Ireland Trends Report 1998-2010

The first HBSC Ireland Trends Report was launched on 23 September 2013 by Dr James Reilly TD, Minister for Health. The report explores the trends in the health and well-being of children in Ireland between 1998 and 2010.  Using data collected in 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010 from 39,915 school-aged children across the Republic of Ireland this report reviews the self-reported health status and behaviours of children in Ireland over this time period in relation to key indicators: the contexts of their lives, health behaviours and health outcomes.

Also included are internationally comparative trend data where the overall relative ranking of children in Ireland is compared to those from 27 other countries and regions that also collected data between 1998 and 2010.

Gavin, A., Molcho, M., Kelly, C. & Nic Gabhainn, S. (2013). The HBSC Ireland Trends Report 1998-2010: Child Health Behaviours, Outcomes and Contexts. Dublin: Department of Health download (959KB)

 
 Presentation given by Dr Saoirse Nic Gabhainn at the launch. download (1.33MB)

 Press release issues by DOHC 23 September 2013 download (23KB)


HBSC Ireland Short Reports

Keane, E., Callaghan, M. & Molcho, M. (2016).  HBSC Ireland 2014:  trends in soft drink consumption in Irish schoolchildren from 1998 to 2014. Galway: Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway. Short report for Institute of Public Health in Ireland. download (539KB)

Gajewski, J. & Nic Gabhainn, S. (2013). HBSC Ireland: socio-economic variations in tobacco smoking among school-aged children in Ireland: 2002, 2006 and 2010.  Galway: Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway. Short report for Helen McAvoy, Institute of Public Health.  download (418KB)

Callaghan, M., Gavin, A. & Nic Gabhiann, S. (2012). HBSC Ireland: tobacco use among schoolchildren in Ireland 2010, 2006, 2002 and 1998.  Galway: Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway.  Short report to the Health Research Board. download (302KB)

Doyle, P., Molcho, M. & Nic Gabhainn, S. (2009). HBSC Ireland: age related patterns in alcohol consumption and cannabis use among Irish children between 1998-2006.  Galway: Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway. Short report to the Health Research Board. download (59KB)

Nic Gabhainn, S. (2008). HBSC Ireland: smoking behaviour between 1998-2006.  Galway: Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway. Short report to the Population Health Directorate, Health Services Executive. download (28KB) 


See the HBSC International website http://www.hbsc.org/ for more HBSC International publications.

Trends and inequalities in adolescent alcohol behaviours across Europe

The report launched on September 26th 2018 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  http://www.euro.who.int/en/hbsc-alcohol-report 


Adolescent obesity and related behaviours: trends and inequalities in the WHO European Region, 2002–2014

HBSC Ireland data features in the  WHO report Adolescent obesity and related behaviours: trends and inequalities in the WHO European Region, 2002–2014  which was launched on 17 May 2017. 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 report at: www.euro.who.int/en/hbsc-obesity-report

Download a copy of the Country comparision highlighting Ireland download  

Download a copy of the trends charts for Ireland download   


HBSC Network: Trends in young people’s health and social determinants

The special report on trends, published Tuesday 24 March 2015, is a collection of in-depth studies of comparable data on a wide range of topics, from multiple countries and repeated surveys of school children. Findings include some significant improvements in how young people report their own health and well-being.

Overall, the results suggest that while there are still causes for concern, contemporary adolescents are in a better position than past generations.

The special supplement, published by The European Journal of Public Health, pulls together 20 papers from researchers taking part in the HBSC study and provides insights into the social determinants of young people’s health and well-being across Europe and North America.


Hogeberg, B. (2021). Educational stressors and secular trends in school stress and mental health problems in adolescents. Social Science and Medicine, 270, 113616. download

Cosma, A., Stevens, G., Martin, G., Duinhof, E L., Walsh, S.D., Garcia-Moya, I., Kolto, A., Govina, I., Canale, N., Catunda, C., Inchely, J., & de Looze, M D. (2020). Cross-national time trends in adolescent mental well-being from 2002 to 2018 and the explanatory role of schoolwork pressure. Journal of Adolescent Health, 66(6), S50-S58. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.02.010 download

Cosma, A., Walsh, S.D., Chester, K.L., Callaghan, M., Molcho, M., Craig, W., & Pickett, W. (2020). Bullying victimization: time trends and the overlap between traditional and cyberbullying across countries in Europe and North America. International Journal of Public Health65(1), 75-85. download

Dierckens, M., Weinberg, D., Huang, Y., Elgar, F., Moor, I., Augustine, L., Lyyra, N., Deforche, B., De Clercq, B., Stevens, G.W., & Currie, C. (2020). National-level wealth inequality and socioeconomic inequality in adolescent mental well-being: A time series analysis of 17 countries. Journal of Adolescent Health, 66(6),S21-S28. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.03.009 download

Löfstedt, P., García-Moya, I., Corell, M., Paniagua, C., Samdal, O., Välimaa, R., Lyyra, N., Currie, D., & Rasmussen, M. (2020). School satisfaction and school pressure in the WHO European region and north America: An analysis of time trends (2002–2018) and patterns of co-occurrence in 32 Countries. Journal of Adolescent Health, 66(6), S59-S69. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.03.007 download 

Vashishtha, R., Pennay, A., Dietze, P., Barrientos Marzan, M., Room, R., & Livingston, M. (2020). Trends in adolescent drinking across 39 high-income countries: Exploring the timing and magnitude of decline. European Journal of Public Health. Published online 14 November 2020. DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckaa193

Guthold, R., Stevens, G., Riley, L., & Bull, F. (2019). Global trends in insufficient physical activity among adolescents: a pooled analysis of 298 population-based surveys with 1.6 million participants. The Lancet: Child and Adolescent Health, 4(1), 23-35.   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642(19)30323-2

Sigmundová, D., Sigmund, E., Tesler, R., Ng, K. W., Hamrik, Z., Mathisen, F. K. S., Inchley, J., & Bucksch, J. (2019). Vigorous physical activity in relation to family affluence: time trends in Europe and North America. International journal of public health, 64(7), 1049-1058. DOI: 10.1007/s00038-019-01271-8

Chzhen, Y. Moor, I., Pickett, W., Toczydlowska, E. & Stevens, G. (2018). International trends in 'bottom-end' ineauality in adolescent physical activity and nutrition: HBSC study 2002-2014. The European Journal of Public Health, 28(4), 624-630. download

Ghekiere, A., Van Cauwenberg, J., Vandendriessche, A., Inchley, J., Gaspar de Matos, M., Borraccino, A., Gobina, I., Tynjala, J., Deforche, B., & De Clercq, B. (2018). Trends in sleeping difficulties among European adolescents: are these associated with physical inactivity and excessive screen time? International Journal of Public Health. Published on-line 10 December 2018. download

Whitehead, R., Berg, C., Cosma, A., Gobina, I., Keane, E., Neville, F. Ojala, K. & Kelly, C. (2017). Trends in adolescent overweight perception and its association with psychosomatic health 2002-2014: evidence from 33 countries. Journal of Adolescent Health, 60,(2), 204-211. download

Lazzeri, G., Ahluwalia, N., Niclasen, B., Pammolli, A., Vereecken, C., Rasmussen, M., Pendersen, T. & Kelly, C. (2016). Trends from 2002 to 2010 in daily breakfast consumption and its socio-demographic correlates in adolescents across 31 countries participating in the HBSC study. PLoS ONE 11(3)download

Elgar, F.J., Pfortner, T.K., Moore, I., De Clercq, B., Stevens, G.W. & Currie, C. (2015). Socioeconomic inequalities in adolescent health 2002-2010: a time-series analysis of 34 countries participating in the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study. The Lancet, 385, No. 9982, p2088–2095. download

Elgar, F.J., Pickett, K.E., Pickett, W., Craig, W., Molcho, M., Hurrelmann, K. & Lenzi, M. (2013). School bullying, homicide and income inequality: a cross-national pooled time series analysis. International Journal of Public Health, 58(2), 237-245. download (320KB)

Pickett, W., Molcho, M., Elgar, F., Brooks, F., de Looze, M., Rathmann, K., te Bogt, T., Nic Gabhainn, S., Sigmundová, D., de Matos, M., Craig, W., Walsh, S., Harel-Fisch, Y. & Currie, C. (2013). Trends and socioeconomic correlates of adolescent physical fighting in 30 countries. Pediatrics 131(1), e18-e26. download (823KB)

The HBSC Ireland team have published interactive data visualisations of data from the report Trends in Health Behaviours, Health Outcomes and Contextual Factors between 1998-2018: findings from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study. These visualisations offer new ways to explore key findings:

  • Trends in Health Behaviours 1998-2018 - Current smoking, ever been drunk, cannabis use, bullying others, trying to lose weight, fruit consumption, tooth brushing, seatbelt use, vigorous exercise, having had sexual intercourse and condom use at last sexual intercourse.
  • Trends in Age of Initiation 1998-2018 - Age of first cigarette, age of first alcoholic drink
  • Trends in Health Outcomes 1998-2018 - Headache, feeling low, medically attended injury, self-rated health, happy with life at present, life satisfaction
  • Trends in Social Contexts of Children's Lives 1998-2018 - Communication with mother, communication with father, live with both parents, liking school, organising school events, pressured by school work, close friends of the same sex, evenings out with friends, feel safe in the local area, good places to spend free time, help or favours from neighbours