Better evidence for a better world

Campbell evidence and gap maps

Coming soon – Campbell EGMs are a new evidence synthesis product. Plain language summaries of our EGMs will be published on this website. The interactive EGMs and full EGM reports will be available in our journal on the Wiley Online Library platform: click here.



Learn more about Campbell EGMs

Campbell-partnered EGMs

Campbell has produced maps on other topics, sometimes in partnership with other organisations.



See the Campbell-partnered EGMs
Indicated truancy interventions: effects on school attendance among chronic truant students

Additional Info

  • Authors: Brandy R Maynard, Katherine Tyson McCrea, Michael S. Kelly
  • Published date: 2012-05-07
  • Coordinating group(s): Education
  • Type of document: Review, Plain language summary
  • Title: Indicated truancy interventions: effects on school attendance among chronic truant students
  • Library Image: Library Image
  • See the full review: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2012.10
  • Records available in: English, Norwegian, Spanish
  • English:

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    Truancy programmes increase school attendance, but better programmes and evidence needed

    Truancy has serious immediate and far-reaching consequences for youth, families, schools and communities. Truancy intervention programs aim to mitigate such problems using different modalities to increase student attendance. This review examines the effect of truancy interventions on chronically truant students’ school attendance. On average, truant students who participated in a truancy intervention attended school 4.7 more days than students who did not.

    What did the review study?

    Truancy is a commonly recognized problem. Many governments have put in anti-truancy policies and spent large amounts to tackle the issue. At best, truancy rates have remained stable and often risen. Truancy intervention programs target increased school attendance.

    Truancy intervention programs are diverse; they target many different types of risk factors and use a variety of methods for intervening. Interventions may target individual risk factors, such as school anxiety or phobia, low self-esteem, social skills, and medical conditions; family factors, such as communication and parental support, discipline and contingency management, parental involvement, and communication with the school; and school factors, such as school climate, attendance policies, relationships between teachers and students, and bullying. Some interventions target multiple risk factors across all three levels. The methods used can range from a one-day workshop for students and parents to a year-long multi-component program including counselling, tutoring, and case management.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review examines the effect of interventions on school attendance to inform policy, practice and research. The review summarise findings from 28 studies conducted in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia.

    What studies are included?

    Included studies assess truancy interventions using randomized controlled designs (RCT), quasi-experimental design (QED) and pre-post test design (SGPP). This review includes interventions aimed at increasing attendance with students in primary or secondary schools, with a focus on those students who had attendance problems at the time of the study. Twenty-eight studies consisting of 1,725 student participants were included in the review, and 16 of those were included in the meta-analysis.

    What are the main results in this review?

    Overall, truancy intervention programs are effective. There is a significant overall positive and moderate mean effect of intervention on attendance, which increases attendance by 4.7 days per student by the end of the intervention. Studies did not measure longer-term outcomes, so we do not know if these gains in attendance continue after the intervention ends.

    There was no significant difference in the effectiveness of different delivery channels (e.g. school, court or community-based), different modalities (e.g., individual, family, group, or multimodal), or different lengths of time (e.g., one day versus a school year). Contrary to popular belief and recommendations for best practices in truancy reduction found in the existing literature, collaborative programs and multimodal interventions do not produce greater effects on attendance than other types of programs. However, small sample sizes and substantial variation between studies suggest caution is needed in interpreting and applying these findings. There are shortcomings in the literature, notably the lack of inclusion of minority students.

    What do the findings in this review mean?

    Overall, truant students benefit from interventions targeting attendance behaviours, thus it is important and worthwhile to intervene with truant youth. Chronic truant students increase school attendance by on average 4.7 days per student. Given that no one intervention program stands out as more effective than others do, schools can intervene using the resources they have. Despite the significant improvements in attendance by students who received one of the interventions in this review, their attendance remained below acceptable levels, thus we need to continue to improve these interventions and outcomes.

    A stronger evidence base is needed to understand the variations in study findings. In addition, there should be a central repository of effective, and just as importantly ineffective, interventions.

    How up-to-date is this review?

    The review authors searched for studies published until March 2009. This Campbell Systematic Review was published in July 2012.

  • Norwegian:

    OPPSUMMERT FORSKNING

    Programmer mot skulking øker skoledeltakelsen, men det er behov for bedre programmer og mer forskning

    Skulking gir alvorlige umiddelbare og vidtgående konsekvenser for ungdom, familier, skoler og lokalsamfunn. Intervensjonsprogrammer mot skulking har som mål å redusere slike problemer, ved å øke elevenes skoledeltakelse ved hjelp av ulike metoder. Denne oversikten undersøker effekten av intervensjoner mot skulking på skoledeltakelsen til kroniske skulkere. Skulkende elever som deltok i et intervensjonsprogram mot skulking, møtte opp gjennomsnittlig 4,7 flere dager på skolen enn skulkende elever som ikke deltok i programmet.

    Hva undersøkte oversikten?

    Skulking er et utbredt problem. Myndigheter i mange land har iverksatt retningslinjer mot skulking og har brukt store summer på å løse problemet. I beste fall har skulkefrekvensen holdt seg stabil, men den har ofte økt. Intervensjonsprogrammer mot skulking har som mål å øke skoledeltakelsen.

    Intervensjonsprogrammer mot skulking er allsidige. De er rettet mot mange ulike typer risikofaktorer og bruker mange intervensjonsmetoder. Intervensjoner kan være rettet mot individuelle risikofaktorer, som skoleangst eller -fobi, dårlig selvbilde, dårlige sosiale ferdigheter, medisinske forhold; familiefaktorer, som kommunikasjon og foreldrekontroll, disiplin og evne til å mestre uforutsette hendelser, foreldreinvolvering og kommunikasjon med skolen; samt skolefaktorer, som skolemiljø, regler for oppmøte, relasjoner mellom lærere og elever, samt mobbing. Enkelte intervensjoner er rettet mot flere risikofaktorer på alle de tre nivåene. Metodene som brukes, kan omfatte alt fra endagers workshops for elever og foreldre, til et program med flere komponenter som går over et helt år, og som inkluderer rådgivning, veiledning og kasusstyring.

    Hva er formålet med denne oversikten?

    Denne systematiske Campbell-oversikten undersøker effekten av intervensjoner på skoledeltakelse, og skal danne et grunnlag for retningslinjer, praksis og forskning. Oversikten oppsummerer funn fra 28 studier som ble gjennomført i USA, Canada, Storbritannia og Australia.

    Hvilke studier er inkludert?

    De inkluderte studiene vurderer intervensjoner mot skulking ved bruk av randomiserte kontrollerte studiedesign (RCT), kvasi-eksperimentell studiedesign (QED) og “pretest- posttest-design” (SGPP). Denne oversikten inkluderer intervensjoner som har som mål å øke skoledeltakelsen hos elever på barnetrinnet og ungdomstrinnet, med fokus på elever som hadde mye fravær da studien startet. 28 studier med 1725 elevdeltakere var inkludert i oversikten, og 16 av disse ble inkludert i meta-analysen.

    Hva er de viktigste resultatene i denne oversikten?

    Intervensjonsprogrammer mot skulking er vanligvis effektive. Intervensjon har en signifikant samlet positiv og en moderat gjennomsnittlig effekt på skoledeltakelsen, og etter gjennomført intervensjon var skoledeltakelsen økt med 4,7 dager per elev. Studiene målte ikke mer langsiktige resultater, så vi vet ikke om denne økte skoledeltakelsen fortsatte etter at intervensjonen var avsluttet.

    Det var ingen signifikante forskjeller i effekten av ulike formidlingskanaler (f.eks. skolebasert, domstolbasert eller samfunnsbasert), ulike modaliteter (f.eks. individuelt, familie, gruppe eller multimodalt), eller ulike varigheter (f.eks. én dag eller et helt skoleår). I motsetning til den vanlige oppfatningen, og anbefalingene om beste praksis for å redusere skulking som er funnet i eksisterende litteratur, har ikke samarbeidsprogrammer og multimodale intervensjoner noen større effekt på skoledeltakelse enn andre typer programmer. Få deltaker og betydelige variasjoner mellom studiene tyder imidlertid på at disse funnene bør tolkes og brukes med forsiktighet. Det er mangler i litteraturen, særlig når det gjelder effekt av tiltakene på minoritetselever.

    Hva innebærer funnene i denne oversikten?

    Skulkende elever har generelt nytte av intervensjoner som er rettet mot oppmøteatferd. Det er derfor både viktig og nyttig å intervenere i forhold til ungdom som skulker. Skoledeltakelsen øker i gjennomsnitt med 4,7 dager per elev hos kroniske skulkere. Siden det ikke er noe enkelt intervensjonsprogram som utmerker seg som mer effektivt enn noe annet, kan skoler intervenere ved å bruke de ressursene de har til rådighet. Til tross for den betydelige økningen i skoledeltakelse hos elever som fikk en av intervensjonene i denne oversikten, var skoledeltakelsen til disse elevene fortsatt under akseptabelt nivå. Vi må derfor fortsette å forbedre disse intervensjonene og resultatene. Et sterkere forskningsgrunnlag er nødvendig for å forstå variasjonene i studiefunnene. Det bør også finnes et sentralt arkiv over effektive og ikke minst ineffektive intervensjoner.

    Hvor oppdatert er denne oversikten?

    Forfatterne søkte etter studier som var publisert før mars 2009. Denne systematiske oversikten fra Campbell ble publisert i juli 2012.

  • Spanish:

    Click on 'Download PDF' on the right to view the plain language summary in Spanish.

Select language:

PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

Truancy programmes increase school attendance, but better programmes and evidence needed

Truancy has serious immediate and far-reaching consequences for youth, families, schools and communities. Truancy intervention programs aim to mitigate such problems using different modalities to increase student attendance. This review examines the effect of truancy interventions on chronically truant students’ school attendance. On average, truant students who participated in a truancy intervention attended school 4.7 more days than students who did not.

What did the review study?

Truancy is a commonly recognized problem. Many governments have put in anti-truancy policies and spent large amounts to tackle the issue. At best, truancy rates have remained stable and often risen. Truancy intervention programs target increased school attendance.

Truancy intervention programs are diverse; they target many different types of risk factors and use a variety of methods for intervening. Interventions may target individual risk factors, such as school anxiety or phobia, low self-esteem, social skills, and medical conditions; family factors, such as communication and parental support, discipline and contingency management, parental involvement, and communication with the school; and school factors, such as school climate, attendance policies, relationships between teachers and students, and bullying. Some interventions target multiple risk factors across all three levels. The methods used can range from a one-day workshop for students and parents to a year-long multi-component program including counselling, tutoring, and case management.

What is the aim of this review?

This Campbell systematic review examines the effect of interventions on school attendance to inform policy, practice and research. The review summarise findings from 28 studies conducted in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia.

What studies are included?

Included studies assess truancy interventions using randomized controlled designs (RCT), quasi-experimental design (QED) and pre-post test design (SGPP). This review includes interventions aimed at increasing attendance with students in primary or secondary schools, with a focus on those students who had attendance problems at the time of the study. Twenty-eight studies consisting of 1,725 student participants were included in the review, and 16 of those were included in the meta-analysis.

What are the main results in this review?

Overall, truancy intervention programs are effective. There is a significant overall positive and moderate mean effect of intervention on attendance, which increases attendance by 4.7 days per student by the end of the intervention. Studies did not measure longer-term outcomes, so we do not know if these gains in attendance continue after the intervention ends.

There was no significant difference in the effectiveness of different delivery channels (e.g. school, court or community-based), different modalities (e.g., individual, family, group, or multimodal), or different lengths of time (e.g., one day versus a school year). Contrary to popular belief and recommendations for best practices in truancy reduction found in the existing literature, collaborative programs and multimodal interventions do not produce greater effects on attendance than other types of programs. However, small sample sizes and substantial variation between studies suggest caution is needed in interpreting and applying these findings. There are shortcomings in the literature, notably the lack of inclusion of minority students.

What do the findings in this review mean?

Overall, truant students benefit from interventions targeting attendance behaviours, thus it is important and worthwhile to intervene with truant youth. Chronic truant students increase school attendance by on average 4.7 days per student. Given that no one intervention program stands out as more effective than others do, schools can intervene using the resources they have. Despite the significant improvements in attendance by students who received one of the interventions in this review, their attendance remained below acceptable levels, thus we need to continue to improve these interventions and outcomes.

A stronger evidence base is needed to understand the variations in study findings. In addition, there should be a central repository of effective, and just as importantly ineffective, interventions.

How up-to-date is this review?

The review authors searched for studies published until March 2009. This Campbell Systematic Review was published in July 2012.

Library Image

See the full review

Contact us