Health Behaviour in School aged Children World Health Organization Collaborative Cross-National Survey
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HBSC Study

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Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) is a cross-national research study (www.hbsc.org) conducted in collaboration with the WHO Regional Office for Europe (www.who.int/about/regions/euro/en/index.html). HBSC was initiated in 1982 by researchers from England, Finland and Norway, and there are now 43 participating countries and regions.
The survey aims to increase understanding of young people's health and health behaviour and the factors that influence them.
In 2000 Italy joined the study network, taking part in the 2001/2002 survey.
HBSC surveys are carried out at four years intervals using a common research protocol developed by the international research network, with the collaboration of researchers from all participating countries.

The last survey 2010 is carried out on a nationally representative sample in each participating country, with a total, in Italy, of 77.113 boys and girls.
The target population of the HBSC study is young people attending school, aged 11, 13 and 15 years. These age groups represent the onset of adolescence, the challenge of physical and emotional changes, and the middle years when important life and career decisions are beginning to be made.
It is important that young people's health is considered in its broadest sense, encompassing physical, social and emotional wellbeing. Health should be viewed as a resource for everyday living, and not just the absence of disease.
Therefore, research into children's health needs to consider the positive aspects of health, as well as risk factors for future ill health and disease. Family, school and peer settings and relationships need to be explored, as does the socioeconomic environment in which young people grow up, if we are to understand fully the patterns of health and health behaviour found in the adolescent population.

Aims
The aim is to increase understanding of young people's health and wellbeing, the findings from the HBSC surveys are used to inform and influence health promotion and health education policy and practice at national and international levels.
Research into children's health and health behaviour and the factors that influence them is essential for the development of effective health education and health promotion policy, programmes and practice targeted at young people.
It is important that young people's health is considered in its broadest sense, encompassing physical, social and emotional wellbeing. Health should be viewed as a resource for everyday living, and not just the absence of disease.
Therefore, research into children's health needs to consider the positive aspects of health, as well as risk factors for future ill health and disease. Family, school and peer settings and relationships need to be explored, as does the socioeconomic environment in which young people grow up, if we are to understand fully the patterns of health and health behaviour found in the adolescent population.

Objectives
- to initiate and sustain national and international research on health behaviour, health and well being and their social contexts in school-aged children
- to contribute to theoretical, conceptual, and methodological development in the said area of research
- to contribute to the knowledge base in the said research area
- to monitor and to compare health and health behaviour and social contexts of school-aged children in member countries through the collection of relevant data
- to disseminate findings to the relevant audiences including researchers, health and education policy makers, health promotion practitioners, teachers, parents and young people
- to develop partnerships with relevant external agencies in relation to adolescent health to support the development of health promotion with school-aged children
- to promote and support the establishment of national expertise on health behaviour and on the social context of health in school-aged children
- to establish and strengthen a multi-disciplinary international network of experts in this field
- to provide an international source of expertise and intelligence on adolescent health for public health and health education
- to promote and support the establishment of national expertise on health behaviour and on the social context of health in school-aged children
- to provide an international source of expertise and intelligence on adolescent health for public health and health education.