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20 years of adolescent health in Ireland

The HBSC study has been running in Ireland since 1994. Writing for RTÉ News, Andras Kolto (HBSC Ireland) looks back on what we have learnt about the health of the nation's youth over the last 20 years. Here are some highlights:

Decline in damaging risk behaviours

  • The proportion of young people who smoke fell from 28% in 1998 to just 8% in 2014.

  • There has been a 25% decrease in the proportion of young people who had their first cigarette age 13 or younger.

  • In 1998, one in three children reporting to have ever been drunk. In 2014 this number is down to one in five.

  • We have seen a 20% decrease in the number of young people reporting their first alcoholic drink aged 13 or younger.

  • The prevalence of bullying others in the last couple of months fell from 25% in 1998 to 13% in 2014.

Rise in health promoting behaviours

  • Since 1998 there has been a small rise, from 18% to 23%, in the proportion of young people who eat fruit more than once a day.

  • Regular toothbrushing (more than once a day) has risen from 59% to 69% of young people.

  • Seatbelt use has increased. In 2014, 80% of young people said that they always use their seatbelt when in a car. In 1998 this was true for as little as 35% of young people.

Supportive social contexts

  • In 1998, 73% of adolescents said they found it easy to talk to their mother about things that bother them. This had risen to 82% by 2014.

  • The increase was even more pronounced with communication with fathers, climbing from 47% to 69% for the same period.

  • 72% of young people reported that they liked school in 2014, compared with 68% in 1998. However, the proportion feeling pressured by schoolwork has risen from 33% to 43%.

Read the latest HBSC Ireland outputs for in-depth assessments of adolescent health in Ireland.

see here for further details

item 4741
[23-02-2018 to 31-10-2018]


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