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Title:A Study of Excessive Absenteeism in High School Students: Confronting the Dilemma of Why It Occurs and Strategies to Overcome the Problem
Author(s):Reczkiewicz, Kenneth Mitchell
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Administration
Abstract:Absenteeism among adolescents is a concern for school administrators. Using a qualitative research design by intensively interviewing twenty-eight high school students whose records indicate poor attendance habits, this study focuses on the students' perspectives of explanations for absenteeism. The twenty-eight students were enrolled in two suburban high schools demographically similar. The students were enrolled during the 1984-85 school year.
The review of literature examines the theoretical explanations for absenteeism. Three basic alternative perspectives emerge--the student as social problem perspective, the poor school climate perspective, and the poor school structural perspective. The review also highlights some school policy responses to absenteeism currently in vogue.
From this review of the literature emerges the conceptual framework of the study. This framework suggests that explanations for poor attendance fall into two main clusters: a school-related cluster of factors and an outside-school-related cluster. Using a structured interview format with probes linked to individual factors in the framework, the researcher interviewed the respondents, coded all the responses according to the elements of the conceptual framework, and then analyzed the data.
Among this student population, five factors appear to be more significant than others in the students' explanations of poor attendance. Three were from the school-related cluster and included homework issues, scheduling-school time issues, and teacher conflicts. Two factors from the outside-school-related cluster appear most significant and include outside jobs of students and friends or peer relationships.
Based on the data gathered in the interviews, the researcher concludes with recommendations for dealing with these five factors. These recommendations represent system attempts to cope with absenteeism. Finally, the researcher also recommends construction of policy on individual student absenteeism which includes three distinct components: (1) a data-gathering and interviewing phase; (2) a recommendation formation and counseling phase; and (3) a setting limitations or expectations phase.
Issue Date:1987
Description:296 p.
Thesis (Educat.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8711858
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1987

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