The Israeli Health Behavior in School-Aged Children research program

Organization profile

Organization profile

The Israeli Health Behavior in School-Aged Children research program in the Faculty of Social Sciences was established in 1993 by Dr. Yossi Harel-Fish as a multidisciplinary research program dealing with the most important and central issues in the lives of children and youth in Israel, the Middle East, and the world in general. The research program has a solid foundation in the fields of behavioral and social sciences, preventive medicine and public health.

The research team includes principal researchers, research fellows, post-doctoral students and research students from various departments of the Faculty of Social Sciences and other fields such as the Department of Statistics. This team works closely with researchers in research institutes and other universities in 46 countries in Europe and North America networked through the World Health Organization's multi-national study. The program benefits from a variety of research grants from international competitive funds and from government ministries.

The two flagship research projects of the Bar-Ilan research program are:

  • Israeli Health Behavior in School-Aged Children research program- A World Health Organization Cross known as HBSC. This study is carried out every four years in 46 countries simultaneously.
  • The Regional Study on the Welfare and Health of Youth in the Middle East is a joint project of Bar-Ilan University and Al-Quds University in the Palestinian Authority, known as HBSC-ME. The Middle East study is funded by the United States government.

All studies in this program are carried out in cooperation with, funded, and sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Education and Health. The information derived from these studies assists in the development and design of effective policies and strategies to reduce violence, drugs, and alcohol and promote the psychological, physical, and social well-being of children and youth in Israel.

The Israeli HBSC study, for example, has contributed greatly to the Israeli government's and Israeli society's handling of violence among children and youth. The study findings led to the establishment of the Vilnai Committee and served as a basis for the development and production of intervention policy on the national level.

The publications produced from this research program deal with a wide range of areas related to youth sciences, including topics such as injury and injury prevention, driving patterns of young drivers, narghila (hashish) smoking, eating habits and eating disorders, alcohol and drug consumption, covert dropout rates in schools, parental involvement and family culture, volunteering and community involvement, sources of social capital, the development of indicators of happiness and mental, physical, social and spiritual well-being, and the development of a science of holistic models for understanding the factors that influence human happiness. And many more.

In addition to the current publications, the research program has yielded in recent years 7 doctoral graduates and more than 40 graduate students who were placed and acquired their research experience through the program. These graduates are already integrated into academia, research institutes, government ministries, and professional positions in the field of youth in Israel and around the world.

The International HBSC-WHO Study

A collaborative effort by the World Health Organization (WHO) to examine the health and well-being of adolescents across nations. The study was established in 1982 and is conducted every four years through a self-report questionnaire. The HBSC study aims to provide valuable information at national, regional, and international levels to gain a better understanding of the health and well-being of young people, identify social determinants of health, and guide policies and practices that enhance the lives of adolescents. The main product of the HBSC survey cycle is the WHO/HBSC International Report, published by WHO as part of the HEPCA series. These reports provide a comprehensive review of the results of each survey, presenting the latest available data on the health and well-being of young people in participating countries and allow cross-national comparisons to be made.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Our work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


Dive into the research topics where The Israeli Health Behavior in School-Aged Children research program is active. These topic labels come from the works of this organization's members. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or