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HEALTH BEHAVIOUR IN SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION COLLABORATIVE CROSS-NATIONAL SURVEY

 

Publications: Data Visualisations

Positive experiences of school

School experiences occur during crucial developmental periods in young people’s lives and influence the development of their self-esteem, self-perceptions and health behaviours, with negative consequences for long term health and life satisfaction.

Liking school has been identified as a protective factor against health compromising behaviours including bullying, sexual risk-taking and tobacco, alcohol and drug use. Students who dislike school or do not feel connected to it are more likely to fail academically, leave education early and have mental health problems.

Use the interactive display below to compare data for children who reported 'liking school a lot' in HBSC's 2009/10 International Survey.

Importance of the school environment

HBSC findings have shown that those who perceive their school as supportive are more likely to engage in positive health behaviours and have better health outcomes, including good self-rated health, high levels of life satisfaction, few health complaints and low smoking prevalence. These associations clearly highlight the important role that schools have in supporting young people’s well-being and acting as buffers against the development of negative health behaviours and outcomes.

National education and school level policies and practices need to reflect schools’ influence on young people’s lives, especially as students get older and their connections with school typically decrease.

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