Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

pp 1-4

Date: Latest Version


  • Anton BirioukovAffiliated withFaculty of Education, University of Ottawa Email author 


Cutting class; Nonattendance; School refusal; Skipping; Truancy


Absenteeism refers to a student being absent from school. Absences can be motivationally based (i.e., poor relationships with other students, academic failure) and structurally based (i.e., having to work during school hours, taking care of a sick family member). Absenteeism has been documented to have various negative impacts on student’s academic outcomes.


Every day many students are absent from school. The causes for absences are numerous and can arise both from within and outside of the school. Absenteeism can be motivationally based, where a student may not wish to attend; these absences are generally a voluntary and deliberate decision, whereas other absences are structurally based, where pupils must miss school due to their life conditions (i.e., having to move frequently), and are thus beyond a student’s control and are an involuntary decision. Student absenteeism often begins in element ...

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