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How to Decrease Absenteeism


School absenteeism, also known as truancy or school refusal, has been a primary concern to courts, communities, schools, as well as behavioral and social scientist since the compulsory education legislations were enacted during the nineteenth century. Nowadays, absenteeism in school continues to be a serious issue that plagues the country and impacts the youth in a negative way. Truancy is used as a general descriptive term for students absent from school for some cause. It is used as a legal phrase referring to the absences which are illegal as defined by the statute.

The prevalence and seriousness of absenteeism have involved researchers from different fields, including psychology, criminal justice, nursing, social work, and education, in trying to address and understand the issue. The cause of absenteeism has also been offered rather extensive attention in empirical research in the sector. Various studies indicate certain factors that relate to or cause absenteeism in school. They include community, school, family, and individual.


A research named “The Connection between Health and Missing School: A Review of the Chronic Absenteeism and Student Health in Oregon” demonstrates that the attendance of a regular child will set the stage for graduation and academic success. In this article, a child is referred to as chronically absent when he or she misses ten percent or more of school days in a year for any reason. According to the article, it equal to a month of school. Thus, frequent failure to attend the school will be devastating for the student’s success. For instance, children who are constantly absent in kindergarten will be behind with a year of reading by third grade, and they are not likely to overtake. Therefore, constant absenteeism of a student is a measure of the absences, unexcused or excused, consecutive or not, since they relate to the overall attendance of the student (Henderson, Hil & Norton, 2014). A previous national study revealed that Oregon has the worst chronic absenteeism problems with twenty-four percent of the Oregon eighth and fourth grade reported missing more than three days of school a month.

An article entitled “The Contributing Factors to Student Absenteeism or Truancy and the Efficiency of Social Services and Interventions” is an experimental design that enables to analyze the truancy and students’ absenteeism in an original setting. The study also examines the implementation of perfect attendance award as a triumphant incentive or intervention aimed at reducing the above mentioned tendency and promote school attendance. Furthermore, the findings imply that the implementation award proves to be efficient in reducing truancy and absenteeism (Hocking, 2008).

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Finally, the article “School Refusal and Absenteeism Behavior in the Youth: The Contemporary Review” shows that absenteeism from school is recognized as a critical public health issue for physicians, educators, and health professionals. Therefore, the prevalence of unexcused absences from the school surpasses that of primary childhood behavior disorders and is a critical risk factor for injury, violence, economic deprivation, substance abuse, as well as violence. Furthermore, the article involves a recent study review on absenteeism prevalence, psychiatric condition, contextual risk factors, assessment intervention, and cross-cultural variables. The contextual risk factors include poverty and homelessness, school violence, teenage pregnancy, parental involvement, and school climate. A description of the intervention involves systemic, clinical, and medical intervention (Kearney, 2008). Medical professionals, school-based and community mental health specialists, as well as educators are motivated to fully acknowledge the parameters of absenteeism in school in order to develop improved consensual policies regarding classification, definition, intervention of teenagers with problematic school absenteeism, and assessment of the issue.

Interview Questions

  • Tell me a little about yourself- how old are you?
  • What do you like doing in your spare time?
  • How long have you studied at this school?
  • How can you describe this school?
  • What is the worst and the best thing about this school?
  • How can you describe attendance in your school?
  • How do you, your guardians, or parents report absences in the school?
  • How do the administrators and teacher respond to the absences?
  • In which ways, if any, can the administrator and teachers assist in improving the attendance at school?
  • What else would you want me to know?

The questions will aid in understanding the primary cause of absences in school at different grades, as well as accommodate and investigate the reasons for them. The interviewer will be informed of different approaches used by the administrator and the teacher to in order to reduce absences. The questions will further analyze the role that guardians, students, and parents play in either combating or promoting students absenteeism. According to the research, both the administrators and the teacher play a crucial role in identifying the causes of absences in students. Hocking (2008) states teachers agreed that many absent students miss assignments.

Issues Encountered in Compiling, Collecting, Reporting the Data, and Interpreting

First, tabulating the results of the research can be rather intricate especially as regards summarizing the outcome of each question. Here, reading through the data might prove to be a challenge since open-ended questions have been applied. Second, organizing the comments into respective categories, such as weaknesses, suggestions, and concerns can sometimes be difficult as well. Trying to put the data collected into perspective might be hard for the researcher. Third, a problem can arise when one attempts to compare the results of the study. Previous research demonstrates that compiling, collecting, interpreting, and reporting the data consumes time, so researchers sometimes ask for assistance when analyzing the data obtained.

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Establish and Maintain Effective Communication with Stakeholders

First of all, the researcher should ensure that the message relayed is short and simple. Moreover, it must be concise, complete, and clear. After that, it is necessary to ensure that the content of the researcher is factually accurate and the language used is appropriate. Finally, the researcher must use the proper medium for the intended audience, the desired response, and the context. Any information that is poorly relayed to the stakeholder will distort the chain of communication. Therefore, the researcher must ensure the message is sent in the right time in order to allow the audience to have time to understand and take the action on the point.

Rationale for Ways to Report the Data from the Evaluation

The researcher should engage the stakeholder in the causes and effects of absenteeism by preparing a short table which outlines the evaluation audience. The presentation of assessing findings must not be based on reporting the collected data. Here, the researcher will investigate and produce facts. What is more, it is the duty of the researcher to describe data for the study or the program to the stakeholders. The presentation of the assessment findings must be based on covering the data gathered and reflect its meaning for the study, as well as analyzing the response to the key evaluation questions. The assessment conclusion is warranted when it corresponds with the evidence collected and judged against the values agreed upon by the stakeholders.


The negative results for absentee or truant youth include poor school performance, dropout, substance abuse, and delinquency. Additionally, the economic repercussions for the students are also important, since chronically absent students are likely to perform poorly in class and more expected to leave school thus negatively affecting their potential to earn over their lifetime. To enable preventing these consequences of truancy, a comprehensive research is needed, the success of which is guaranteed provided the information is effectively communicated to the stakeholders. The latter must understand the issues addressed by the researcher in order to make contribution to the study.