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Factors linked with chronic school absenteeism discovered by researcher


Chronic truancy. Credit: University of Missouri

More than 7 million school-age children, or 16% of students, in the United States miss at least 15 days of school during the school year – a problem known as chronic truancy.

To identify the factors most commonly associated with chronic truancy, Knoo Lee, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Missouri College of Nursing, analyzed survey results from the Minnesota Student Survey, which included responses from more than 120,000 eighth- and ninth-ranked Minnesota students. and eleventh grade.

In this anonymous state and schoolwide survey, which is distributed to more than 100,000 Minnesota public school students every three years, a myriad of questions broadly cover various topics, including frequency of students who are absent from school, school climate, and bullying, out-of-school activities, emotional health and connections with school and family.

Using data-driven analytics including machine learning techniques, Lee and his team identified 18 risk factors that were most often associated with students who reported being truant most commonly from school. Some of the risk factors included drug or alcohol use, peer pressure and approval from friends, staying home due to illness, behavioral problems that could lead to suspension out of school, family conflicts, and negative childhood experiences.

While the researchers were aware of some of these factors, the challenge was to untangle cause and effect.

“Do these activities cause the student to miss school, or is there a different underlying root problem causing the absence and these activities are just a consequence or by-product?” He said to me. “The first step toward solving a problem is getting a better understanding of the problem in the first place, and that’s what we’re trying to delve into with this research. We ultimately want to develop more personalized interventions to improve student engagement, which lead to better long-term life outcomes.”

Going forward, Lee plans to research whether students with partial or full-day absences are more likely to suffer from chronic truancy, as well as the role school nurses play in identifying at-risk youth.

“Through interviews with school nurses, we learn that some children who miss part of the school day are more likely to go see the school nurse first before they come to class or before they leave school for the day,” Lee said. “We usually tend to think of nurses in schools as not only helping children with physical health issues, but also interacting with students who may have a family problem or a mental health problem. Therefore, they are well placed to identify personality factors Or family or environmental factors that may play a role.”

“Using data-driven analytics and environmental systems theory to identify risk and protective factors for school truancy among secondary students” was recently published in Journal of School Psychology

more information:
Knoo Lee et al, using data-driven analyzes and environmental systems theory to identify risk factors and protective factors for school truancy among high school students, Journal of School Psychology (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.jsp.2023.03.002

Provided by the University of Missouri

the quote: Researcher Finds Factors Linked to Chronic School Absenteeism (2023, June 6) Retrieved June 6, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-06-rsearcher-factors-linked-chronic-school.html

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