Problem Statement: There are many factors that affect student achievement directly and indirectly at the secondary educational level. Lower attendance rates have been cited as detrimental to academic achievement; therefore, it is suggested that improved attendance is a direct indicator, rather than determinant of students‘ academic achievement.
Purpose of Study: The main purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of individual, family and school variables on absenteeism among high school students. Method: Data for this study was collected via a survey of 581 students from the 9th - 11th grades, selected with cluster sampling from secondary schools in Burdur. Among the respondents, 44% were males and 56% females. The data collection instrument consisted of five sections including personal information, causes of absenteeism, school commitment, quality of school environment, and parental control. The Causes of Absenteeism Scale was developed by the researchers for secondary school students. The scale consists of three dimensions: individual, family, and school-based reasons. Parental Behavioral Control was assessed using a 20-item measure recording the degree to which a parent monitors the adolescent‘s behavior or actions. The School Attachment Scale was used to measure the degree of children‘s and adolescents‘ school attachment. Comprehensive School Climate Assessment Scale dimensions (teacher-student relationship and student activities) and Quality of Life Scale dimensions (student-student relationship and school management) were used to measure the quality of the school environment. The model was tested using LISREL 8.3 with maximum likelihood estimation.
Results: The model was specified and tested using hierarchical structural equation modeling and was found to reasonably fit the data. The study findings show that high school students‘ assessment of the school environment explained 83% of the variance of levels of their commitment to school. Students‘ commitments to school, parental control, and assessment of the school environment together explained 22% of the variance in absenteeism.
Conclusion: The major conclusion of this study is that absenteeism was predicted negative and significantly by students‘ commitment to school and parental control. Students‘ commitment to school is the most important predictor of absenteeism. In addition, this study provides evidence that students‘ commitment to school moderates the relationship between perceived school environment and students‘ absenteeism.
Keywords: Absenteeism, school commitment, parental control, quality of school environment