Research Topic

School Attendance and Problematic School Absenteeism in Youth

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About this Research Topic

Background: School attendance is a key foundational competency for children and adolescents. Children who attend school regularly, and adolescents who complete high school, are more likely to experience better quality of life and achieve greater success at social, academic, occupational, and other ...

Background: School attendance is a key foundational competency for children and adolescents. Children who attend school regularly, and adolescents who complete high school, are more likely to experience better quality of life and achieve greater success at social, academic, occupational, and other aspects of functioning during their lifespan than youth who receive little education. Children who do not attend school on a regular basis, or who prematurely leave school before graduation, are also at risk for myriad economic and related drawbacks in adulthood.

School attendance and absenteeism, as well as related constructs such as truancy and school dropout, have been studied historically by professionals in many disciplines that include education, psychology, social work, medicine, nursing, sociology, and criminal justice, among others. These professionals have assembled a rich, if sometimes disparate, set of research findings on this population, as well as assessment and intervention strategies. The field continues to evolve toward common theories, constructs, and strategies to encompass all youth with school attendance problems.

School attendance and problematic school absenteeism are important areas of study particularly in education as well as clinical and health psychology. These constructs are important in education due to linkage to lower academic performance and achievement, lower reading and mathematics test scores, fewer literacy skills, grade retention, and dropout.

In addition, these constructs are important in clinical and health psychology due to linkage to psychiatric disorders (particularly anxiety and depression), social isolation, internalizing and externalizing behavior problems, involvement with the juvenile justice system, and long-term issues in adulthood that include psychiatric, occupational, and marital problems as well as economic deprivation. Indeed, school absenteeism and school dropout are often considered critical public health issues.

Goal:The primary goal of this Research Topic is to disseminate state-of-the-art theory and research and empirically supported practices relevant to mental health, school-based, and other professionals worldwide who address youth with school attendance problems. A secondary goal of this Research Topic is to enhance consensus among varied professionals regarding definition, classification, assessment, and intervention for school attendance problems that can be useful worldwide and that can serve as a foundation for future research and clinical work in this area. As such, multidisciplinary articles that can help bridge gaps in understanding and addressing this important population, and that have particular relevance to school districts, will be particularly valuable.

Scope: The scope of this Research Topic is intended to be comprehensive given the substantial breadth of this area and its stated goal. As such, the Research Topic is intended to draw authors and researchers from many different disciplines on school attendance, school absenteeism, truancy, school refusal behavior, school dropout, and related constructs.

Details for Authors: Empirical, theoretical, and review articles will be considered. Articles that match the intended goal of the Research Topic are preferred, that is, articles that broadly cover many disciplines and different aspects of school attendance problems and that have maximum applicability to youth with school attendance problems worldwide.


Keywords: School Attendance, School Absenteeism, Truancy, School Refusal Behavior, School Dropout


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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