What is HBSC?

Health Behaviour in School-aged Children is an international research collaboration that has existed since 1982 to study the health behaviour of school-aged children and adolescents, and is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO). Luxembourg conducted its first HBSC pilot survey in 1999 and has participated every 4 years in the HBSC surveys since 2006. The core of the research project is a survey of children and adolescents in primary- and secondary schools on the topics of health, health behaviours and social context, as family, friends and school. The data is collected and analysed in cooperation with the Ministère de l’Éducation nationale, de l’Enfance et de la Jeunesse, the Ministère de la Santé and the Youth Research Group of the University of Luxembourg as well as the HBSC Research Network.

Why have I been chosen?

School classes were selected at random from the school register and invited to participate by the Service de Coordination de la Recherche et de l’Innovation Pédagogiques et Technologiques (SCRIPT). The selected classes and participants are representative of the target group of children and adolescents in Luxembourg. Participation in the HBSC Luxembourg study helps us to better understand the links between children’s and adolescents’ health, health behaviour and social context. Findings from HBSC are used to inform policy and practice aimed at improving the health and well-being of young people. Each participant in the study makes an important contribution to this process.

Is participation voluntary?

Participation in the study is voluntary. Both the parents of underage pupils and the pupils themselves have the right to refuse participation.

Which topics will be asked?

In primary and secondary school, questions are asked about well-being (life satisfaction, health complaints, etc.), health behaviour (sports, dietary behaviour, dental health, use of tobacco and alcohol, height and weight),  social context (support from friends and parents, satisfaction with school), injuries, bullying at school, participation in fights, use of social networks and socio-demographics (age, gender, migration, household structure and family living conditions, etc.). Students from secondary schools are additionally asked questions about cannabis and other drugs as well as sexuality and contraception.

What is the data used for?

HBSC is subject to the general data protection regulations that apply in Luxembourg. This means that all answers will be kept strictly confidential, anonymised and used for scientific purposes only. Anonymised means that the answers cannot be linked of the participant. The division of labour between SCRIPT and the University of Luxembourg ensures that neither the researchers involved nor  external parties can  identify participants. SCRIPT staff select the school classes, which participate in the HBSC survey, but they do not have access to the students’ answers, and the University of Luxembourg staff receive the students’ anonymous answers, but they do not know which classes have been selected. The anonymised data will be stored electronically for an indefinite period on servers at the University of Luxembourg and the University of Bergen in Norway for comparison with previous and future HBSC surveys. Initially, only researchers directly involved in the project will have access to the data. After completion of the project, the data will be made available to other researchers for scientific purposes. The anonymous paper questionnaires will be stored securely at the University of Luxembourg for a period of 10 years and then destroyed.

Which organisations offer help to children and young people?

The following list contains contact details of organisations that offer help free of charge.

Assistance if you have worries or problems

Suicide prevention

Addictions and drugs

Internet and digital media safety

Sexual and reproductive health

Violence and abuse

  • Femmes en détresse – service Oxygène https://fed.lu, Tel. 49 41 49, oxygene@fed.lu
  • Alupse, www.alupse.lu Tel. 2618481
  • ECPAT, Tel. 26 27 08 09, ecpat-luxembourg@ecpat.lu
  • Aktioun Bobby (Police judiciaire – pour enfants victimes de violence physique, psychique ou sexuelle) Tel. 123 21
  • La Main tendue a.s.b.l. http://www.lamaintendue.lu/, Tel. 26 60 04 65 84 oder Tel. 20 60 04 65 20, info@lamaintendue.lu