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Factors impacting *attendance in an inner city high school
Numerous studies have been conducted nationally and internationally concerning problems that result from poor school attendance. Poor attendance not only hinders academic achievement but also promotes a poorly educated society, and thus leads to many negative social issues. Some educational experts argue that students who have not acquired an association between academics and life experiences do not feel that good school attendance is relevant to their future (Collins, 1982). Students with high self-efficacy seem to be more successful in maintaining consistent attendance (Bouffard-Bouchard, 1990). A domino effect results which starts with poor attendance, proceeds to low achievement, increases the dropout rate, and amplifies a host of societal problems. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of three factors impacting attendance rates in an inner city school: (a) students' perceptions of their academic abilities, (b) students' perceptions of their connectedness to the school community, (c) and students' perceptions of the relevance of school to their lives. The study site was an urban high school that was randomly selected from among the seven high schools in the study's school district. Data were gathered through the distribution of a student questionnaire supplied to all 601 students in grades 11 and 12 at the school. Statistical data using the quantitative methods of regression and correlation were analyzed to correlate attendance rates with the three factors examined. The study's findings confirmed that students' perceptions of their academic abilities, of their connectedness to school, and of the relevance of school to their lives, do not have an effect on their attendance. The findings did indicate that if a female student rates the relevance of school to her personal life and future goals as high, she is likely to have low absenteeism. A female student with high absenteeism will rate the relevance of school to her personal life and future goals as low. If a female student views her connectedness to the school community as high, she is likely to have low absenteeism. A female student with high absenteeism will rate her connectedness to the school community as low. For males, no significant difference exists between low and high absentee students. Finally, the findings indicated that students answer questions concerning two of the independent variables in the study, the relevance of school to one's personal life and future goals and the connectedness of a student to his/her school community, in a similar manner. The results of this study can assist administrators and teachers addressing problems associated with students' poor school attendance. Recommendations are included for potential proactive courses of action.
Petrosinelli, Arthur-Paul, "Factors impacting *attendance in an inner city high school" (2003). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI3106415.