Dataset: HBSC-2013/14, ed.1.1



The HBSC research network is an international alliance of researchers that collaborate on the cross-national survey of school students: Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC). The HBSC collects data every four years on 11-, 13- and 15-year-old boys' and girls' health and well-being, social environments and health behaviours. These years mark a period of increased autonomy that can influence how their health and health-related behaviours develop. The research venture dates back to 1982, when researchers from England, Finland and Norway agreed to develop and implement a shared research protocol to survey school children. By 1983 the HBSC study was adopted by the WHO Regional Office for Europe as a collaborative study. HBSC now includes more than 40 countries and regions across Europe and North America. This research collaboration brings in individuals with a wide range of expertise in areas such as clinical medicine, epidemiology, human biology, paediatrics, pedagogy, psychology, public health, public policy, and sociology. The approach to study development has therefore involved cross-fertilization of a range of perspectives. As such, the HBSC study is the product of topic-focused groups that collaborate to develop the conceptual foundations of the study, identify research questions, decide the methods and measurements to be employed, and work on data analyses and the dissemination of findings.

What do we research?
Behaviours established during adolescence can continue into adulthood, affecting issues such as mental health, the development of health complaints, tobacco use, diet, physical activity levels, and alcohol use. HBSC focuses on understanding young people's health in their social context - where they live, at school, with family and friends. Researchers in the HBSC network are interested in understanding how these factors, individually and together, influence young people's health as they move from childhood into young adulthood.
The international standard questionnaire produced for every survey cycle enables the collection of common data across all 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 is gathered and may be examined at both the national and cross-national level. The international network is organized around an interlinked series of focus and topic groups related to the following areas:

· Body image
· Bullying and fighting
· Eating behaviours
· Health complaints
· Injuries
· Life satisfaction
· Obesity
· Oral health
· Physical activity and sedentary behaviour
· Relationships: Family and Peers
· School environment
· Self-rated health
· Sexual behaviour
· Socioeconomic environment
· Substance use: Alcohol, Tobacco and Cannabis
· Weight reduction behaviour
· How can you use our findings and expertise?

HBSC's findings show how young people's health changes as they move from childhood, through adolescence into adulthood. Member countries and stakeholders at national and international levels use our data to monitor young people's health, understand the social determinants of health, and determine effective health improvement interventions. Those working in child and adolescent health view HBSC as an extensive databank and repository of multidisciplinary expertise, which can: support and further their research interests, lobby for change, inform policy and practice, and monitor trends over time.

After each survey cycle most countries write a national report, and each survey cycle is also followed by an international report. The international reports and more comprehensive information can be found by following these links:

HBSC Homepage:  

International reports:

Variable Groups

Full Title

HBSC-2013/14, ed.1.1


Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children: World Health Organization Collaborative Cross-National Survey 2013/14

Identification Number


Authoring Entity

Name Affiliation
Health Behaviour in School-aged Children HBSC

Other identifications and acknowledgments

Name Affiliation Role
World Health Organization WHO Finance the internationale reports


Name Affiliation Abbreviation Role
Health Behaviour in School-aged Children HBSC


Copyright (C) 2013 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children

Funding Agency/Sponsor

Name Abbreviation Role Grant
Each member country is responsible for its own funding of the project.
Norway and Scotland has a special resposibilty in the fundings of the entire project and the open acsess solution.

Data Distributor

Name Affiliation Abbreviation
HBSC Data Management Center HBSC DMC


Name Affiliation Abbreviation


HBSC 2014 OA edition 1.0
HBSC 2014 OA edition 1.1: Removed Lithuanian data

Date: 2018-06-01


This first edition includes all countries/regions, except LITHUANIA, that conducted the survey in 2013/2014 and all of their relevant mandatory variables. New editions of this file may be released in the future.

Bibliographic Citation

"Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children: World Health Organization Collaborative Cross-National Survey 2013/14". Open Access ed.1.0

List of Keywords

Topic Classification

Date of Collection

Start End Cycle
2013-09-01 2014-06-30


Geographic Coverage

AL Albania
AM Armenia
AT Austria
BE_WAL Belgium (French)
BE-VLG Belgium (Flemish)
BG Bulgaria
CA Canada
CH Switzerland
CZ Czech Republic
DE Germany
DK Denmark
EE Estonia
ENG England
ES Spain
FI Finland
FR France
GL Greenland
GR Greece
HR Croatia
HU Hungary
IE Ireland
IL Israel
IS Iceland
IT Italy
LU Luxembourg
LV Latvia
MD Republic of Moldova
MK Macedonia
MT Malta
NL Netherlands
NO Norway
PL Poland
PT Portugal
RO Romania
RU Russian Federation
SCT Scotland
SE Sweden
SI Slovenia
SK Slovakia
UA Ukraine
WLS Wales

Unit of Analysis



The HBSC collects data every four years on 11-, 13- and 15-year-old boys' and girls' health and well-being, social environments and health behaviours in the participating countries.

Kind of Data

Survey data

Time Method

Cross section. Mostly repetitive.

Data Collector

Member countries of HBSC  (HBSC)

Sampling Procedure

Most students are selected through random selection of classes within targeted school years/grades. In most cases only one class per grade will be selected but on occasion there may be more than one (e.g. if class sizes are small).  

Sample selection    

Two preferred ways a sampling are set out: 1) simple random sampling of school classes uses a computerized random sampling procedure, 2) systematic sampling of every n-th class from the list using a random starting point. Systematic sampling is just as good as random sampling as long as the list does not contain any hidden order If a different method is proposed, please give as much detail as possible. Knowledge about the method of sampling is important because it influences bias and precision of population parameter estimates.

Probability proportional to size (PPS) sampling  
Put simply, when PPS sampling is used, the size of the school is taken into account when drawing the sample, to ensure that students have an equal chance of selection. If PPS sampling is not used, students in smaller schools have a greater chance of selection (e.g. 30 students selected from 150 compared with 30 students selected from 250). School size could be measured by number of classes or total number of students at the school. PPS sampling is used on many large scale social surveys.

In Wales, each school is represented on the sample frame by the total number of students in the school (we don't have information on the number of classes per school). The sampling fraction is calculated by dividing the total population by the number of schools required to deliver a sample of sufficient size. The outcome is that large schools have a greater chance of selection, which balances the fact that the chance of a student (or class) being selected in a large school is lower, the end result being that each individual class (student) in the population has a (roughly) equal chance of selection.

For example, if then we have 5 schools in a local education authority of size 1000, 750, 500, 400 and 200 students, school A will take up places 1-1000 on the sampling frame, school B 1001-1750, school C 1751-2250, school D 2251-2650 and school E 2651-2850. If 2 schools were required in the authority (using the national sampling fraction), sampling fraction would be 1425 and let's assume a random start point of 800, then the school at points 800 and 2225 would be selected i.e. schools A and C.

Mode of Data Collection

Paper/pencil questionnaire


The mandatory items were delivered to all age groups with the following exceptions, which were delivered to 15 year olds only:

· Age of onset for drinking alcohol, drunkenness and smoking (M22)
· Illicit drug use (cannabis) (M23)
· Sexual health (M24-M27)  

It is recognised that in some countries topics of illicit drug use (cannabis) and sexual health are considered highly sensitive and their inclusion may not have been possible.  If the inclusion of one or more of these topics would seriously jeopardise the national survey (for example, because approval by governing bodies would not be granted or response rates would be affected to an unacceptable level) it was permissible to exclude these items.

Response Rate

Comparing response rates across countries/regions in the HBSC study and interpreting differences is problematic for a number of reasons. First, there is variability in the primary sampling unit (PSU) between countries/regions, with some selecting classes and others schools, depending on the availability of a class-based sampling frame. Where school is the PSU, it is common to select a class in each of the three age groups within a school, increasing the potential burden, which is likely to impact on school/class level response rates. Second, country or region size and differences in the volume of school-based research may impact on school/class level response rates, with the burden on schools and likelihood of taking part varying between participating countries/regions. Third, countries/regions differ in the way that they deal with non-response, some oversampling, some pre-selecting replacement schools or a combination of both approaches. Fourth, information is not always available on pupil non-attendance on the day that fieldwork takes place, meaning that pupil level response rates cannot be calculated or have to be approximated.



Neither Health Behaviour in School-aged Children nor NSD are responsible for the analysis/interpetation of the data presented here.

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