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    Québec Health Survey of High School Students (QHSHSS)

    The Québec Health Survey of High School Students (QHSHSS) is carried out every six years by the Institut de la statistique du Québec on behalf of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS). Its objective is to collect data on the physical and mental health of high school students from all regions of the province, as well as on their lifestyle habits and social adjustment.

    These data help people who work with youth in schools and in the health and social services network to develop programs adapted to their needs and to propose actions that will support their well-being and help them journey through their teenage years.

    Participants

    Students

    Has your class been selected to participate in the QHSHSS? This means you are one of the 70,000 students who will be taking part in the survey!

    Someone from the Institut will visit you in class so you can complete a 30-minute questionnaire on a tablet computer. The questions will cover various topics: mental health, physical activity, sleep, nicotine and alcohol use, and many more. What will your answers be used for? Have a look at some of the results from QHSHSS 2016–2017 to learn more.

    All your answers will be kept confidential, meaning that no one will know what answers any student in particular has given. To learn more about this, visit the page “Confidentiality and the protection of personal information.”

    Your questionnaires will not be identified, and all of your answers will be kept confidential, meaning that no one will know who answered the questionnaires. The MSSS will receive the data collected, except for certain information that could identify students (e.g., postal codes). The data will only be used for statistical purposes. To learn more about confidentiality, visit the page Confidentiality and the protection of personal information.

    Participation is voluntary. You or your parents can decide that you will not take part in the survey.

    Once you have completed the QHSHSS questionnaire, we invite you to take part in the Study on the Experiences of Youth in Sports in Québec.

    Schools

    School principals

    The Institut selects schools at random from both the French- and English-language networks, taking into account their size and composition. Within these schools, classes are in turn randomly selected from the list of English or French classes, depending on the school’s primary language of instruction.

    The principals of the selected schools must designate a contact person who will assist the Institut in selecting classes, making appointments and visiting classes on the day of data collection.

    The participation of schools is mandatory under the Act respecting the Institut de la statistique du Québec

    Teachers

    At least one week before the Institut’s visit to the classroom, teachers will receive materials for parents to be handed out to all students.

    At the time of the visit, the teachers should stay in the classroom while the students complete the questionnaire. However, they must not walk around the classroom to ensure that the students’ answers remain confidential. Teachers are responsible for their class at all times and must ensure discipline.

    Data collection

    July 2022

    School service centres, school boards and private schools are informed in writing about the QHSHSS and receive information documents.

    The Institut tests the survey questions and data collection process with students in a few classes at each grade level.

    September 2022

    The Institut writes to the selected schools and provide them with information documents.

    October 2022

    The Institut begins calling the principals of the selected schools. Each principal must designate a contact person who will assist the Institut in collecting the data.

    November 2022 to May 2023

    At the time agreed upon with the contact person, the Institut’s interviewers visits the selected classes so that the students can complete the computerized questionnaire. The students answer the survey on a tablet computer that is independent from the school’s computer network. All the necessary equipment is provided by the Institut. Parents and teachers will receive information on how the visit will unfold.

    To contact the QHSHSS team

    eqsjs-qhshss@stat.gouv.qc.ca

    1-800-561-0213

    The QHSHSS

    QHSHSS 2022–2023 is the third edition of the survey. The last time, in 2016–2017, 62,277 students from 465 schools participated.

    A few findings

    In 2016–2017:

    • 14% of youth never ate breakfast on school mornings: 16% of girls and 12% of boys.
    • 19% of students drank one regular or diet sweetened beverage or ate snacks or sweets every day.
    • 72% thought their health was excellent or very good, 23% that it was good, and 4.3% that it was fair or poor.
    • 68% found their friends to be highly supportive, girls (76%) more than boys (61%).
    • 6% of students reported having experienced cyberbullying since the start of the school year, girls (9%) more than boys (3.5%).
    • 32% of boys and 45% of girls reported having a high level of parental supervision.
    • 63% of young people slept the recommended number of hours during the school week, 34% slept fewer hours, and 3.3% slept more hours. The recommended number of hours of sleep ranges from 9 to 11 hours for those aged 6–13, and from 8 to 10 hours for those aged 14–17.

    What will we learn from the QHSHSS 2022–2023 results? Until they are released in the fall of 2024, visit the page Québec Health Survey of High School Students 2016–2017 to see the full results from the last edition of the survey.

    Objectives

    Provide a picture of high school students' physical and mental health, lifestyle habits, and social adjustment.

    Facilitate the study of the relationship between students’ health or lifestyle habits and their individual characteristics.

    Monitor changes in the youth health and its determinants.

    Ethics

    The survey was examined by an ethics committee responsible for safeguarding the respect, dignity and integrity of those participating or included in our surveys.

    Research

    Researchers who would like to use QHSHSS data as part of a research project can request access through the Institut de la statistique du Québec’s Research Data Access Services.

    Collaborators

    The survey, questionnaire and indicators were developed in collaboration with the project steering committee co-chaired by the Institut and the MSSS, which included representatives from the regional public health directorates, the national public health roundtables, the Institut national de santé publique du Québec, and the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur.