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21 June 2013
Four members of the ALPHA group, a young people’s advisory group hosted by the University and DECIPHer, have been invited to represent Welsh young people at a conference at St Andrews University to help direct an international survey on young people’s health and well-being. The conference will celebrate 30 years of the World Health Organization’s collaborative Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) survey, which collects data every four years from boys and girls aged between 11 and 15 in more than 40 countries, and is used to inform policy and practice.
This will be the first time young people have been involved in the survey at an international level. The survey provides a crucial source of information, allowing international comparisons to be made and trends through time monitored. The survey collects data on young people's health and wellbeing. The data gleaned from the survey will include information on the development of health complaints, tobacco use, diet, physical activity levels, and alcohol use.ALPHA members attending the conference will be Luke Brace (20), Oliver Sanders (16), Shelby Jones (18) and Sophie Jones (16). As the only representatives from Wales, the delegates will join a cohort of young people from England, Ireland, Scotland and Canada. They will advise on how the research should incorporate the views of young people, including the content of future surveys and how the findings can best be reported for young people.Hayley Reed, DECIPHer’s Involving Young People Research Officer, said: "DECIPHer believes the best research is informed and directed by the public it affects, which is why we have invested in developing ALPHA. We hope the young people enjoy this experience." Shelby Jones, one of the members of ALPHA attending the conference, said:"It is nice to come and meet young people from all different countries and hopefully make a change to the HBSC survey".Held at St. Andrews University in Scotland, the conference runs until Friday 21 June. It is organised by the HBSC International Coordinating Centre, which is part of the Child and Adolescent Health Research Unit at the University of St. Andrews.
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