FACTORS INFLUENCING CHRONIC ABSENTEEISM IN TWO SUFFOLK COUNTY SCHOOLS IN NEW YORK STATE
The major purpose of this study was to determine and compare the academic, school, home and family, and personality factors of chronic and non-chronic absentee groups in two Suffolk County, New York junior high schools. The absentee groups were classified according to types of chronic absentees, i.e., truants, illegally detained, reality-based school refusers, malingering truants, and school phobics or non-chronic absentees. In addition, the study sought to interrelate the sub-factor determinants of the academic, school, home and family, and personality factors for the absentee group of junior high school students. Moreover, the investigation sought to determine whether any significant relationships existed among the sub-factor determinants of the academic, school, home and family, and personality factors of each type of absentee group and the demographic variables of sex, ethnicity, school population, grade, and age.^ The subjects of this study comprised 197 junior high school students of which 35 were identified for each group except for the school phobic group which contained 22 students. The instruments employed in the study were the California Achievement Test and the Short Form Test of Academic Aptitude for measuring the academic factors. The instrument employed to measure the school factors was the Quality of School Life Scale. The instrument employed to measure the home and family factors was the Family Environment Scale. The instrument employed to measure the personality factors was the California Test of Personality.^ The following major findings and conclusions seem warranted on the basis of the responses in this study: (1) High levels of performance on achievement and aptitude tests, high satisfaction with the school environment, positive family relationships, and a healthy personality contribute to acceptable attendance patterns. Conversely, the typical chronic absentee receives low average scores on achievement and aptitude tests, perceives the school environment unfavorably, views the family as non-inspiring in relation to cohesiveness and school, and responds in the low-average category in relationship to personality sub-factors. (2) Although real differences existed between chronic and non-chronic absentees, only minimal differences were found among the chronic absentee sub-groups concerning three of the factors measured. While the responses of the chronic absentee groups clustered around the below to low average category regarding the school factors, their responses clustered between the low average to average category regarding the home and family, and personality factors. However, concerning the academic factors, the responses of the truant and the reality-based school refuser clustered within the low-average category; the responses of the malingering truant and the school phobic clustered within the high average category; and the responses of the illegally detained and non-chronic group clustered within the above average category. (3) Real relationships existed among the academic, school, home and family, and personality factors and sub-factors which were linked to their influences on chronic absenteeism. The highest percentage of these relationships existed among the academic, school, and personality factors, while home and family factors accounted for the lowest percentages. (4) The demographic variables of age and school population had a greater impact on the academic, school, home and family, and personality factors than the demographic variables of sex, grade, and ethnicity. ^
DI SCIULLO, MARIO ANTHONY, "FACTORS INFLUENCING CHRONIC ABSENTEEISM IN TWO SUFFOLK COUNTY SCHOOLS IN NEW YORK STATE" (1981). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8109062.