HBSC aims to drive youth participation as standard in adolescent research and to provide data that are meaningful to young people, are reflective of current lifestyles, and are of value to policy and program development. Further to significant benefits within the research process, the active and meaningful involvement of young people results in important and positive impacts on youth themselves. Underscoring our commitment to young people across all participating member countries, we work within the HBSC network to collaborate in theorizing on relevant issues in youth participation, cocreating participative research methodologies, supporting one another in the application of theory, and method and promoting opportunities for dissemination and debate.
Youth engagement in HBSC forms a unique combination of integrated knowledge translation and Public and Patient Involvement in health-related research, drawing on elements of both of these approaches. Evidence of impact on policy and practice has been clearly demonstrated, but challenges remain in convincing research funding bodies, journal editors, and some researchers that engaging youth is of sufficient value and interest.