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Last update
21 July 2017


The HBSC study in Switzerland

Target population and objectives
The Swiss HBSC-Study is dedicated to different aspects of health behaviour and lifestyles in 5th to 9th graders (most of them are aged 11 to 15 years). The study is carried out every four years and allows a representative assessment of health and health behaviour among adolescents in Switzerland, as well as comparisons to the situation in earlier years. It thus provides an important informative basis for health policy in general and health promotion and prevention measures in both school and recreational area.
In 2018, with the funding of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health and the Swiss cantons, Addiction Switzerland (formerly Swiss Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Problems, SIPA) will conduct the HBSC-Study for the ninth time (after 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014) in Switzerland.
Within the national HBSC-Study, the cantons may commission their own specific studies. These will allow them to compare their cantonal results the national results.

To select participants, cluster sampling is used, where schoolchildren are the basic units and classes are the clusters. Stratified by cantons and grades, the sample is drawn from all classes of the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade in public schools in Switzerland.
About 700 classes of 5th to 9th grade were randomly selected for participating in the national study 2014, which resulted in a sample of about 10'000 schoolchildren. In those cantons that commissioned their own specific study, the number of selected classes was increased in order to reach a minimum of 105 classes.
The questionnaire of the HBSC-Study in Switzerland is based on international questions on the one hand and on national questions on the other hand. A team of research experts of the participating countries has elaborated the international questions. To this, Addiction Switzerland adds national questions in order to cover some health-related topics in greater detail. For ethical reasons and not to overburden the younger respondents, some items (especially those dealing with sexuality and illegal substances) are included only in the questionnaire designed for 8th and 9th grade pupils (most of whom are aged 14 or older).
Under supervision of the class teacher, the questionnaire is completed by the pupils in the classroom during a regular lesson (45 minutes). The pupils' participation is voluntary and absolutely anonymous.

Research reports (2014 study)

Eichenberger, Y., & Delgrande Jordan, M. (2017). Soutien de la part de la famille, des ami-e-s et des personnes côtoyées à l'école. Perception des adolescent-e-s de 11 à 15 ans et liens avec le bien-être psychoaffectif et la consommation de substances psychoactives (Rapport de recherche No 87A). Lausanne: Addiction Suisse.

Archimi, A., Eichenberger, Y., Kretschmann, A., & Delgrande Jordan, M. (2016). Habitudes alimentaires, activité physique, usage des écrans et statut pondéral chez les élèves de 11 à 15 ans en Suisse - Résultats de l’enquête « Health Behaviour in School-aged Children » (HBSC) 2014 et évolution au fil du temps (Rapport de recherche No 78). Lausanne: Addiction Suisse.

Résumé      Summary      Riassunto      Zusammenfassung

Marmet, S., Archimi, A., Windlin, B., & Delgrande Jordan, M. (2015). Substanzkonsum bei Schülerinnen und Schülern in der Schweiz im Jahr 2014 und Trend seit 1986 - Resultate der Studie “Health Behaviour in School-aged Children” (HBSC) (Forschungsbericht Nr. 75). Lausanne: Sucht Schweiz.

Summary     Résumé     Riassunto     Zusammenfassung    

The international HBSC report which presents the Swiss results in comparison to those of other countries that participated in the study in 2014 has been published in March 2016: Growing up unequal: Gender and socioeconomic differences in young people's health and well-being. Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study: International report from the 2013/2014 survey.