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Survey Methods

HBSC is a school-based survey with data collected through self-completion questionnaires administered in the classroom. The international standard questionnaire enables the collection of common data across participating countries and thus enables the quantification of patterns of key health behaviours, health indicators and contextual variables. These data allow cross-national comparisons to be made and, with successive surveys, trend data analysis is also possible.

Methodological development since the study's inception in 1982 is described in the following article: The Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study: methodological developments and current tensions. International Journal of Public Health, 54, S140–150 [methodology].


HBSC International Research Protocol

A Research Protocol is produced every HBSC survey cycle. Each protocol includes scientific rationales for the survey items, the standard international questionnaire and technical appendices on data collection and management.

Public versions of the HBSC Research Protocol have been made available with non-members since the 2009/10 survey.

  • 2017/18 Research Protocol (requires registration)
    Inchley J, Currie D, Cosma A & Samdal O, editors. Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) Study Protocol: background, methodology and mandatory items for the 2017/18 survey. St Andrews: CAHRU; 2018.

  • 2013/14 Research Protocol
    Currie C, Inchley J, Molcho M, Lenzi M, Veselska Z & Wild F (eds.) (2014). Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) Study Protocol: Background, Methodology and Mandatory items for the 2013/14 Survey. St Andrews: CAHRU.

  • 2009/10 Research Protocol
    Currie C, Griebler R, Inchley J, Theunissen A, Molcho M, Samdal O, Dür W & (eds.) (2010). Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) Study Protocol: Background, Methodology and Mandatory Items for the 2009/10 Survey. Edinburgh: CAHRU & Vienna: LBIHPR.

If you require more information please email hbscstudyprotocol@hbsc.org