The HBSC study in Scotland: can the study influence policy and practice in schools?

Ian Young, Candace Currie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper reviews the role of the HBSC study in Scotland and suggests that the HIBSC study has growing status and relevance in Scotland for a number of reasons as it continues to provide insights for politicians, policy makers, education professionals and health promotion practitioners. The paper will set out the historical background to the HBSC study and the associated research and health promoting school developments in Scotland. It will explore the factors that have been important in its influential role in contributing to health promotion policy developments in the education and health sectors in Scotland. It is suggested that this role has been shaped by:

- The changing political context and the developing political will to improve Scotland's health.

- The close practical links between the HBSC study and the national agency for health promotion.

- The growing credibility of the study in the education sector in Scotland as well as the health sector.

- The growing evidence of the study's influence through:

- references to the study in government reports;

- representation of HBSC researchers on government policy and strategy committees;

- deputy chief medical Officer being on HBSC committee;

- increased use of HBSC outputs in schools and education authorities;

- linked developments in the health promoting schools movement in Scotland.

- The development of a training and capacity building resource for teachers which draws extensively on data from the HBSC study.

- The continuity of the study over nineteen years resulting in a unique and valued data set.

- The development of good communication strategies which has resulted in high awareness of the data in the education and health sectors and the Scottish media.

- The growing understanding that HBSC is an important international study and that Scotland has played a significant role in co-ordinating the international dimension of the study and the close links between Scotland and the European Regional Office of The World Health Organization (WHO).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-277
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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