Prevalence and correlates of truancy in the US: Results from a national sample

Publication Abstract

Vaughn, Michael G., Brandy R. Maynard, Christopher P. Salas-Wright, Brian E. Perron, and Arnelyn Abdon. 2013. "Prevalence and correlates of truancy in the US: Results from a national sample." Journal of Adolescence, 36(4): 767-776.

Truancy has been a persistent problem in the United States for more than 100 years. Although truancy is commonly reported as a risk factor for substance use, delinquency, dropout, and a host of other negative outcomes for youth, there has been surprisingly little empirical investigation into understanding the causes and correlates of truancy using large, nationally representative samples. Using the adolescent sample (N = 17,482) of the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), this study presents the prevalence of truancy and examines individual, school engagement, parental, and behavioral correlates of truancy. Overall, 11% of adolescents between the ages of 12–17 reported skipping school in the past 30 days. Results from multinomial logistic regression models indicate skipping school was robustly associated with an increased probability of reporting externalizing behaviors, less parental involvement, and engagement and lower grades in school. Implications for theory, prevention, and policy are discussed.

10.1016/j.adolescence.2013.03.015

PMCID: PMC3713173. (Pub Med Central)

Country of focus: United States of America.

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