The Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study in Canada

Learn about the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study in Canada.

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About the HBSC

The HBSC is a World Health Organization, on-going, cross-national research study of youth aged 11 to 15 years old that collects data every 4 years. The study aims to gain insight into young people's:

  • well-being
  • health behaviours
  • social contexts

For every survey cycle, member countries across Europe and North America use the same survey methods and questionnaire made by HBSC researchers. This allows us to compare results between countries. Over time, we can also use the data to examine global trends between countries.

Results from every cycle are published in national and international reports. The data are also used for research, including peer-review journal publications.

Learn more about the international HBSC and what they do.

HBSC in Canada

The HBSC supports Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) priorities of:

  • research, surveillance and monitoring
  • evidence-based policies and programs to improve the health of Canadian youth

Canada has participated in every cycle of the HBSC since 1989. Health Canada funded the HBSC from 1989 to 2004. Since then, PHAC has funded the study, with partial funding provided by Health Canada for the 2009 to 2010 cycle.

PHAC funds Queen's University to lead the HBSC Canada research team to conduct the HBSC study in Canada.

Provincial and territorial governments work with the HBSC Canada research team through the Pan-Canadian Joint Consortium for School Health.

In Canada, the HBSC collects anonymous data from students in grades 6 to 10 on topics such as:

  • family
  • friends
  • school
  • community
  • healthy eating
  • healthy weights
  • mental health
  • spiritual health
  • sexual health
  • substance use
  • social media use
  • injury and concussions
  • bullying and teen dating violence
  • physical activity, screen time and sleep

Reports and resources

National reports

Topic-specific reports


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