At A Glance

Noteworthy Characteristics

  • Collects information on physical, social, and emotional health and well being of adolescents and preadolescents.
  • Collects information on youth health behaviors and their social context (e.g., family, school, peer settings and relationships, and socioeconomic environment).
  • Oversampling of African American and Hispanic students (in US dataset), with large numbers of other racial /ethnic groups, such as American Indians.
  • The US study also includes a survey of school administrators to provide contextual information about the schools and their health education programs.
  • Data can be used for cross-national comparisons and trends given the use of the same survey instruments in 42 other countries.

Website

http://www.hbsc.org

Purpose

To collect data about the health, health behaviors and their social context, and well being of school-aged youths in the United States (US) and 42 other countries.

Target Population

Children and adolescents in grades 6 through 10 who are attending school in the US.

Conducted

US survey began in the 1997-1998 school year. Conducted every 4 years. Most recent year conducted was for the 2009-2010 school year.

Sponsor

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, US Department of Health and Human Services, and the Health Resources and Services Administration in collaboration with the World Health Organization

Special Note(s)

HBSC is an international survey. Information here is provided for the US survey only. The survey was initially conducted in 1983-1984 in five countries. The US was the 30th country to implement the HBSC, and has been associated with the survey since 1993-1994. The US has been a fully participating member since 1997-1998.

The HBSC international survey seeks to recruit 4,500 students from each country. Besides contributing to the international survey, the US simultaneously conducts a nationally representative school-based survey of nearly 15,000 students in grades 6 through 10 using similar data collection methods, but with an enhanced protocol. This enhanced survey includes teacher and administrator surveys.

The last US survey for which HBSC data are available was conducted from January through May 2006. Therefore, although the survey is referred to as the 2005-2006 survey, it was conducted only in 2006 in the United States.

For general inquiries about the survey, contact:
Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC)
International Coordinating Centre
Child and Adolescent Health Research Unit (CAHRU)
School of Medicine
University of St Andrews
Medical and Biological Sciences Building
North Haugh
ST ANDREWS, Fife KY16 9TF
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1334 461 731
Email: info@hbsc.org

Sampling

Sample Design

Cross-sectional, three-stage cluster design that provides a nationally representative sample of students with mean ages of 11.5, 13.5 and 15.5 years for the international dataset. Primary sampling frame is the school. Oversampling of African American and Hispanic children in the US national dataset. Learn more about the sampling design.

Sample Size

Approximately 3,900 for US component of the international survey in 2006 (age 11 years = 1,100; age 13 years = 1,500; age 15 years = 1,300). The sample included approximately 1,900 boys and 2,000 girls. Approximately 9,000 youths completed a parallel, nationally representative school-based conducted only in the U.S.

During the 2005-2006 academic year, 9,011 students from 227 schools completed the enhanced US HBSC survey. During the 2009-2010 academic year, 12,649 students from 314 schools completed the US HBSC survey.

Approximately 14,800 US youths and 300 schools participated in the 2001-2002 survey.

Special Note(s)

The international survey seeks to recruit 4,500 students from each country. Besides contributing to the international survey, the US simultaneously conducts a nationally representative school-based survey of nearly 15,000 students in grades 6 through 10 using similar data collection methods, but with an enhanced protocol. This survey includes teacher and administrator surveys.

Key Variables

Demographic

NameMethods of Assessment
Family structureInterview/questionnaire
Is family well off? (very, quite, average, not very, not at all)Interview/questionnaire
Socioeconomic statusInterview/questionnaire
SexInterview/questionnaire
GradeInterview/questionnaire
Month and year of birthInterview/questionnaire
Race/ethnicityInterview/questionnaire

Diet-Related

NameMethods of Assessment
DietingInterview/questionnaire
Number of days per week respondent eats breakfast (week day or weekend day indicated)Interview/questionnaire
Frequency of fruit consumption each weekInterview/questionnaire
Frequency of vegetable consumption each weekInterview/questionnaire
Frequency of sweets consumption each weekInterview/questionnaire
Frequency of soft drink consumption each weekInterview/questionnaire
Frequency of alcohol consumption (daily, weekly, less often, never) separated by type of alcoholic drink (e.g., beer, wine, spirits)Interview/questionnaire

Physical Activity-Related

NameMethods of Assessment
Frequency of physical activity in past 7 daysInterview/questionnaire
Number of hours of exercise per weekInterview/questionnaire
Number of hours per day watch TV/DVD (week day or weekend day indicated)Interview/questionnaire
Number of hours per day play computer games (week day or weekend day indicated)Interview/questionnaire

Weight-Related

NameMethods of Assessment
Body image (self-reported thinness or fatness)Interview/questionnaire
HeightSelf report
WeightSefl report
BMICalculated

Geocode/Linkage

NameMethods of Assessment
School countyInterview/questionnaire

Other

NameMethods of Assessment
Self-reported healthInterview/questionnaire
Life satisfactionInterview/questionnaire
Family supportInterview/questionnaire
School environmentInterview/questionnaire

Data Access and Cost

Data Availability

Obtain data by submitting the HBSC Data Request Form to:

Dr. Oddrun Samdal
HBSC Databank Manager
Research Centre for Health Promotion
University of Bergen
Christiesg 13
N-5015 Bergen
NORWAY
Email: datarequests@hbsc.org

Investigators must indicate desired variables on the Data Request Form. Variable lists are as follows: 1997-1998, 2001-2002, and 2005-2006

Public data sets for US surveys through 2005-2006 also can be downloaded at the University of Michigan’s Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research Web site.

Cost

Free of charge.

Special Note(s)

HBSC data are given only to academic researchers, international organizations, and public sector researchers working in relevant fields. Data files are restricted for the use of member country teams for a period of 3 years, after which time the data are available for external use by agreement with the International Coordinator and the Principal Investigators.

Access to data is given only to specific mandatory variables and not to the entire dataset from any survey. Special requests for the entire dataset can be made, but must be granted by the entire HBSC Network Assembly. All requests for data access must be approved by the relevant HBSC International Coordinator, HBSC Data Manager, and relevant HBSC Network groups/members. This process can be lengthy in some instances.

To publish any work using HBSC data, at least one member of the HBSC Network must be a named author or have a consultative role in the publication and/or analyses.

The most recent year for which data are available is not necessarily the most recent year this survey was conducted.

Contact US Principal Investigator Dr Ronald Iannotti at:

Prevention Research Branch
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, 7B05
Bethesda, MD 20892-7510
Tel: 301 435 6951
Fax: 301 402 2084
Email: iannottr@mail.nih.gov

Geocode/Linkage

Geocode Variable(s)

School county

Existing Linkages

Quality Education Database (QED) (school characteristics)

Selected Publications

General

Currie C, Nic Gabhainn S, Godeau E, Roberts C, Smith R, Currie D, Pickett W, Richter M, Morgan A & Barnekow V (eds.) Inequalities in young people's health: HBSC international report from the 2005-2006 Survey. Health Policy for Children and Adolescents, No. 5, WHO Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2008.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2008). Health Behaviors in School-Age Children (HBSC) 2005/2006 Survey: School Report (NA). Washington (DC): US Government Printing Office.

World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, WHO/HBSC Forum 2006: Addressing the socioeconomic determinants of healthy eating habits and physical activity levels among adolescents. Copenhagen (Denmark): WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2006.

Diet-Related

Janssen I, Katzmarzyk P, Boyce W, Vereecken C, Mulvihill C, Roberts C, Currie C, Pickett W, The Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children Obesity Working Group. Comparison of overweight and obesity prevalence in school-aged youth from 34 countries and their relationships with physical activity and dietary patterns. Obesity Reviews 2005;6(2):123-132.

Ojala K, Vereecken C, Välimaa R, Currie C, Villberg J, Tynjälä J, Kannas L. Attempts to lose weight among overweight and non-overweight adolescents: A cross national survey. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2007;4:50.

Rovner A, Wang J, Nansel N, Iannotti RJ. School food environment and students' dietary behavior. Journal of Adolescent Health (in press).

Vereecken C, Dupuy M, Rasmussen M Kelly C, Nansel TR, Al Sabbah H, Baldassari D, Jordan MD, Maes L, Niclasen BV, Ahluwalia N, HBSC Eating and Dieting Focus Group. Breakfast consumption and its socio-demographic and lifestyle correlates in schoolchildren in 41 countries participating in the HBSC Study. International Journal of Public Health 2009;54(Suppl 2):S180-S190.

Warsh J, Pickett W, Janssen I. Are overweight and obese youth at increased risk for physical activity injuries? Obesity Facts, 2010;3(4):225-230.

Physical Activity-Related

Borraccino A, Lemma P, Iannotti RJ, Zambon A, Dalmasso P, Lazzeri G, Giacchi M, Cavallo F. Socioeconomic effects on meeting physical activity guidelines: Comparisons among 32 countries. Medicine and Sports Science in Exercise 2009;41(4):749-756.

Iannotti RJ, Janssen I, Haug E, Kololo H, Annaheim B, Borraccino A, the HBSC Physical Activity Focus Group. Interrelationships of adolescent physical activity, screen-based sedentary behaviour, and social and psychological health. International Journal of Public Health, 2009;54(Suppl2):S191-S198.

Iannotti RJ, Kogan MD, Janssen I, Boyce WF. Patterns of adolescent physical activity, screen-based media use, and positive and negative health indicators in the US and Canada. Journal of Adolescent Health 2009;44(5):493-499.

Litt D, Iannotti R J, Wang J. Motivations for adolescent physical activity. Journal of Physical Activity and Health (in press).

Melkevik O, Torsheim T, Iannotti RJ, Wold B. Is spending time in screen-based sedentary behaviors associated with less physical activity: A cross-national investigation. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2010;7:46.

Nichol M, Pickett W, Janssen I. Associations between school recreational environments and physical activity. Journal of School Health 2009;79(6):247-254.

Weight-Related

Farhat T, Iannotti R J, Simons-Morton B. Overweight, obesity, youth, and health-risk behaviors. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2010;38(3):258-267.

Lissau I, Overpeck MD, Ruan WJ, Due P, Holstein BE, Hediger ML, the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Obesity Working Group. Body mass index and overweight in adolescents in 13 European countries, Israel, and the United States. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 2004;158(1):27-33.