HBSC England is keen to include young people in their research as co-researchers. Young people can be involved as co-researchers in many aspects of the study – identifying new research areas, evaluating the questions used in the HBSC questionnaire and helping to explain current HBSC findings. Their active participation in the research process ensures the study and its methodology reflect being a young person in today’s society. For instance, taking on board young researchers’ feedback can ensure questions are easy to understand and reflect topics highly relevant to them. By actively involving young researchers in the HBSC study it does not only improve the study, but also helps to facilitate young peoples’ voice and influence over policy and practice.
The HBSC England team has been very active in involving young people in the research and has engaged in youth participation since we began the survey in 2009. Young researchers have worked with us to prepare the HBSC surveys for data collection, including identifying important topics and shaping the questions which are included in the survey. Young people have also assisted with disseminating research findings via the creation of infographics and contributions to the 2014 HBSC England national report. The HBSC England team has worked with our young researchers in a number of ways. We have held one-off workshops which bring together a variety of young people from differing backgrounds; and we have also established connections with local schools, through which we have formed Research Advisory Groups. Due to the nature of adolescence and school life the Research Advisory Groups are fluid in nature; each session sees the involvement of different young people from the school.