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Psychological Analysis of Students Skipping School (Truancy)

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Carl Zhou Psychological Analysis of Students Skipping School (Truancy) Issue Truancy has been a problem since the first schools. In the past, students were punished by parents and their schools for skipping. Today however, with many human rights laws and rules against punishing children (Parliament of Canada), truancy comes with almost no consequences and has grown in popularity (The Independent). Truancy is often caused by the students' family problems, abuse and neglect, mental and physical health issues, drug and alcohol abuse, low self esteem, lack of friends, safety concerns and a number of other reasons. Some effects of truancy on students include involvement in crime, more likely to be unemployed, decreased academics, and risk of not obtaining a higher education (GTC Michigan). Truancy not only effects the truant student itself, but also an entire class, when a teacher slows down to help him catch up. Theory B.F. Skinner (1904-1990) was only concerned with observable behaviors, not the mental processes behind them. ...read more.


1. Make students feel needed at school. To do this, teachers can assign certain responsibilities to the students, such as group projects. This way, the students will feel a responsibility to others and may be less likely to skip because they will feel guilty. 2. Use a reward system (operant conditioning). Offer truant students a reward for perfect attendance for a certain amount of time. This may encourage them to attend school for the reward. 3. Make students feel liked at school. To do this, teachers can display students' work, be supportive of students, and engage students in group activities and clubs where they can be social and do work at the same time. 4. Work together with the truant students' families. Find out why the student skips school and figure out a solution to prevent or change this behavior. This is an effective method because the families know the students the best and can find productive solutions together with the school. ...read more.


It also highlights gender bias that exists in traditional psychological theories. Karen Horney's idea is invalid in the case of students skipping school because not all truant students are female. Horney's idea deals mainly with adult females, but students are all teenagers. Gender bias also has none or little relation to a student's choice of not going to class. Conclusions If my plan is used at school, student truancy rates will decrease. Students will be more attracted to school, feel safer, become more successful academically, and feel more accepted. All of these are important aspects for maintaining a positive mental state and healthy school life. Next steps would be for teachers and staff to work towards what is best for individual students. Every student is different and need to be taught and treated differently, I believe that providing an individualized education program is good for the students' level of success, because they will learn at their own paces. If my solutions fails, the truant student must be informed about the consequences of further skipping school. However, it is important not to threaten a student, as they may take the threat as a challenge or be even more defiant. ...read more.

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