Home > The Irish health behaviour in school-aged children (HBSC) study 2010.

Kelly, Colette and Gavin, Aoife and Molcho, Michal and Nic Gabhainn, Saoirse (2012) The Irish health behaviour in school-aged children (HBSC) study 2010. Galway: Department of Health and National University of Ireland, Galway.

PDF (HBSC 2010) - Published Version

This report presents data from the HBSC Ireland 2010, the Irish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children survey. The 2010 HBSC survey is the fourth time that data of this kind have been collected from young people across the Republic of Ireland; previous surveys were conducted in 2006, 2002 and 1998 (www.nuigalway.ie/hbsc).

HBSC is a cross-sectional research study conducted in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe. The HBSC international survey runs on an academic 4-year cycle and in 2009/2010 there were 43 participating countries and regions (www.hbsc.org). The overall study aims to gain new insight into, and increase our understanding of young people’s health and well-being, health behaviours and their social context. As well as serving a monitoring and a knowledge-generating function, one of the key objectives of HBSC has been to inform policy and practice.

Substance use
Overall, there is a decrease from 2006 in reports of tobacco, alcohol and cannabis use among school children in Ireland.

Reports of current smoking (12%) and having ever smoked (27%) have declined since 2006 (15% and 36% respectively). Differences by age and social class are evident for both measures of smoking, with older children and those from lower social classes more likely to report both behaviours. Boys are more likely to report having ever smoked than girls, with a notable drop in ever smoking among older girls (47% in 2010 vs. 57% in 2006).

The proportion of 3rd and 4th class children who report that they have ever smoked (3%) has decreased from 2006 and reports of current smoking status remains the same (1%) as in 2006. Boys are more likely than girls to report such behaviours. There are no significant differences across social class groups.

Reports of alcohol consumption have decreased among school children in Ireland since 2006 with 46% of children reporting ever drinking (53% in 2006) and 21% reporting being current drinkers (26% in 2006). Rates of drunkenness (28% in 2010 vs. 32% in 2006) and reports of been drunk in the last 30 days (18% in 2010 vs. 20% in 2006) have also decreased. Age and gender differences are observed for all four measures of alcohol consumption, with older children and boys more likely to report drinking and drunkenness. Children from lower social classes are more likely to report having been ‘really drunk’.

Drug Use
Reported cannabis use, both in the past 12 months (8% in 2010 vs. 16% in 2006) and in the past 30 days (5% in 2010 vs. 7% in 2006), has decreased. Boys and older children are more likely to report use of cannabis. No social class differences are evident.

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