Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

David Roseborough


Social Work


The intent of this qualitative study was to examine what relevant stakeholders believe serve as significant causes of truancy and what can be done to reduce or eliminate it. This study utilized a qualitative, exploratory research design to better understand what a sample of stakeholders believed would help reduce truancy rates in youth ages 13-­‐17. The sample of this study was made up of five professionals who currently work or have worked with families and youth involved with truancy related issues. Two of the participants were high school counselors, two were community outreach workers, and one participant was a county outreach worker; each participant had a minimum of seven years working with youth. The question format used was semi-­‐structured, with 12 prepared questions. All were designed with room for elaboration, asking the professionals to discuss their professional experiences with youth experiencing truancy. The interviews were first transcribed, then themes were discovered by using both inductive and deductive methods. The transcripts were explored in an inductive manner, allowing themes to develop on their own through coding. Once this was complete, the data were further explored in a deductive manner to better determine actual themes found supporting the inductive coding. Four main themes emerged: the definition of truancy based on the professional role, changes in truancy, things that impact truancy, and things that reduce truancy. The data from the participants were compared to previous research. The previous literature, along with this study discovered that truancy occurs because of many reasons and not one approach will work for all students. There are several factors that go into truancy and remembering to take them all into account will help youth succeed in attending school regularly. Implications for the field of social work and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Included in

Social Work Commons