supported by EUHP Operating Grant 2014-2015
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Welcome to Health Behaviour in School-aged Children’s (HBSC) 2nd European Union Health Programme Operating Grant newsletter. The International Coordinating Centre of the HBSC study, based at the School of Medicine, University of St Andrews has been awarded an Operating Grant for the period 2014-15 and these quarterly newsletters are intended to update stakeholders on HBSC’s core activities and progress towards the Operating Grant’s objectives. These include: developing and improving survey methods, supporting science and knowledge production, improving communication and facilitating cooperation of the study’s research network, and maximising outreach.

International Report meeting

In the last week of October, HBSC’s International Coordinating Centre hosted the first meeting to discuss the production of HBSC’s next International Report which will present key findings from the 2013/14 HBSC survey. Visitors from HBSC’s Data Management Centre in Bergen, Norway, and representatives from WHO Euro attended as well as design and editorial experts. Agenda items for discussion included report concept, format, content and deadlines. The next meeting of the Report Management Group is planned for the New Year to finalise the production schedule.

To download HBSC’s 2009/10 International Report, please click here.

Autumn 2014 meeting - Tirana


International HBSC delegates gathered in Tirana, Albania, at the beginning of November for HBSC’s autumn network meeting. This meeting was opened by a seminar hosted by the Faculty of Public Health, University of Medicine, Tirana, and the Albanian Institute of Public Health. Entitled Core issues in research, policy and services related to child and adolescent health including health behaviour and wellbeing, social context and risk behaviours, this session included a welcome address from the Albanian Minister of Health, Deputy Minister of Education and Sports, and the UN Resident Coordinator for Albania.

The primary objective of this meeting was to develop workplans for topic, focus and writing groups, as well as looking at question development and protocol review for the 2017/18 survey cycle. The Early Careers Group gathered for a day prior to the full network meeting to finalise their Terms of Reference, and to discuss training needs and future visions for the group. This forms an important element of the HBSC study’s succession plan - more details of this to follow in future newsletters.

Data visualisations & fact sheets

As part of the European Union Health Programme Operating Grant, HBSC’s International Coordinating Centre has been working with subject area experts to produce monthly data visualisations. These offer new ways to engage with HBSC’s data and explore our key findings. Click on the links below to view the visualisations that have been produced to date:

There is also a suite of HBSC factsheets available through our website. These focus on HBSC research themes and accompany specific publications or were produced in response to particular public health campaigns. Please click here to download our latest installment, a research briefing on sedentary behaviour, an important risk factor for physical, psychological and socio-emotional health among youth.

Methodology skills assessment and training

As part of the European Union Health Programme Operating Grant, HBSC’s Survey Methodologist, Dr Martin Steppan, has been undertaking a skills assessment within the network. Data collection is currently underway and three training sessions are planned for 2015 based on the results of the skills assessment. The outcomes of the questionnaire will also be used to map out a mentoring scheme within the HBSC network. Recommendations and contributions for training with the network and methodological development are very welcome, please email if you would like to be involved.


HBSC’s Terms of Reference

HBSC's Terms of Reference (ToR) sets out the aims and objectives of the study, operational procedures and the principles, rights and responsibilities of the network. This shortened, public ToR serves as a useful example to other international studies of the rules of engagement of the HBSC international research network. It is also intended to show how decisions are made through democratic procedures. By sharing this information, stakeholders may gain insight and understanding about how the challenges of managing such an international research enterprise are met and how barriers to cooperation may be overcome. The ToR will also enable understanding of specific procedures of interest such as rules of publication and data access for those wishing to work with HBSC data.

Please click here to access

About HBSC

HBSC, founded in 1983, is an internationally comparative study on adolescent health, presently conducted in 44 countries and regions in Europe and North America. Initiated and developed by an alliance of researchers in the participation countries who form national teams,  the study’s mission is to monitor adolescent health, health behaviours and wellbeing over time; increase knowledge of adolescent health and social determinants in Europe; and disseminate information to key stakeholders. HBSC provides data to inform national/EU policies to improve the health outcomes of children internationally. The study is an exceptional resource for governments and organisations including the European Commission, the WHO, UNICEF, and the OECD who regularly use its data and findings to support action to improve the health of young people.


The International Coordinating Centre (ICC) of the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) Study is responsible for the management of the HBSC network.

The HBSC  International Coordinating Centre (ICC) of the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) Study is responsible for coordinating and supporting all the activities of the HBSC Study network. It works closely with specialist centres in Bergen, the International Databank, and Copenhagen - the Support Centre for Publications.

Its mission is to enable network cooperation to produce data and share knowledge, to be the public face of the study, and to act as a source of intelligence for stakeholders.
supported by EUHP Operating Grant 2014-2015

Copyright © 2014 HBSC All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children study
Child and Adolescent Health Research Unit
Medical and Biological Sciences Building
St Andrews, KY16 9
United Kingdom

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