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Attendance and Risk-Taking Behaviors of High School Students


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Title: Attendance and Risk-Taking Behaviors of High School Students

Attendance and Risk-Taking Behaviors of High
School Students
  • The University Of Texas at El Paso

  • Introduction
  • Method
  • Data Analysis
  • Budget
  • References

  • Statement of Problem
  • Review of Related Literature
  • Needs Assessment
  • Statement of Hypothesis/Null

Statement of Problem
  • Students are partaking in risk-taking behaviors.
  • Students who have chronic absence record or cut
    class are engaging in higher risk behaviors that
    cause negative consequences that affect their
    school performance and finance welfare (Epstein
    Sheldon, 2002).
  • Students may
  • Use cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol.
  • Be involved in crime or violence.
  • Drop out of school.
  • Disassociate with family.

Review of Related Literature
  • The organization of the review of literature is
    as follows
  • First, school based factors of absences
  • Second, social, economic, ethnic, and family
    status factors of absences
  • Third, characteristics of crime
  • Fourth, low Grade Point Average (GPA)
  • Fifth, drop outs
  • Sixth, financial loss of schools
  • Seventh, parental involvement
  • Last, methods of solving absenteeism and
    risk-taking behaviors.

School Based Absence Factors
  • Peer pressure
  • Personality conflict with Teacher
  • Failure to understand a subject
  • Dislike of a particular class
  • Failure to have completed homework (Gabb, 1995).

Social, Economic, Ethnic, and Family Status
  • Some chronically absent students believe that
    school is not rewarding for them, or they may
    have few, if any, mainstream friends at
    school, Dougherty, 1999.
  • May not have many friends.
  • Lack of finances to purchase school supplies.
  • Parents are not involved at home or in school.

Violent and Criminal Behaviors(V C Behaviors)
  • Findings showed that frequently absent students
    engaged in more risk behaviors than those who
    were rarely absent (Guttmacher, Weitzman,
    Kapadia, Weinberg, 2002).
  • Students may illegally use drugs, alcohol,
    cigarettes, or controlled substance while absent.
  • Students may commit crimes in the community.
  • Students may be involved in a bad crowd.

Low Grade Point Average (GPA) Factors
  • Students are less likely to engage in risk
    behaviors when present and productive in school
    (Guttmacher, et. al., 2002).
  • Students decrease their attendance in school.
  • Students do not complete assignments.
  • Students are involved in high risk behaviors that
    alter their present mind.
  • Students may be socially or sexually active.
  • Students simply do not care about school and

Drop Out Factors
  • High absences and truancy may lead to a
    permanent withdrawal from school (Epstein
    Sheldon, 2002).
  • Dropping out is a long process of disengagement
    and withdrawal from school (Epstein, Sheldon,
  • Lower school attendance rate does not necessarily
    lead to dropping out (Scott Friedli, 2002).

Financial Loss of Schools
  • It costs a school district thousands of dollars
    each year in lost funds from the State and
    Federal government due to attendance figures
    being low (Garry, 1996).
  • Schools benefit from high attendance rates.
  • Schools lose money when it has a high drop out
  • Monitoring attendance requires time of

Parental Involvement
  • Families are an important influence on student
    attendance and an important resource for
    decreasing truancy and absenteeism (Epstein
    Sheldon, 2002).
  • Parents need to check homework and report card
  • Become involved in PTA and other school
  • Volunteer at school or in childs class.
  • Be aware of childs social life and peers.
  • Collaborate with the community.

A School May
  • Punish students who are truant and reward high
    attendance (Gabb, 1995).
  • Suspend students from school or place in ISS
    (In-School Suspension) after a certain number of
  • Have incentives for parental involvement.
  • Take the student to truancy court.
  • Always be consistent!

Needs Assessment
  • Conducted at El Paso ISD (AEIS, 2003)
  • 62,739 student enrollment
  • 17,464 High School enrollment
  • 42,161 low-income students (67.2)
  • 95.6 attendance rate
  • Violent or Criminal Behavior
  • 601 Reported Incidents in Violent or Criminal
    Behaviors (data is based on 2001/02 data)

  • El Paso ISD High Schools Statistics
  • Andress 1,971 enrolled
  • 93.3 attendance 47 V C Behaviors
  • Austin 1,566 enrolled
  • 91.4 attendance 19 V C Behaviors
  • Bowie 1,229 enrolled
  • 92.6 attendance 125 V C Behaviors
  • Burgess 1,456 enrolled
  • 95.1 attendance 56 V C Behaviors
  • Chapin 824 enrolled
  • 96.5 attendance 58 V C Behaviors
  • Coronado 2,499 enrolled
  • 94.2 attendance 67 V C Behaviors
  • El Paso High 1, 212 enrolled
  • 94.8 attendance 23 V C Behaviors

  • El Paso ISD High Schools Statistics
  • Irvin 1,798 enrolled
  • 93.7 attendance 64 V C Behaviors
  • Jefferson 1,219 enrolled
  • 91.7 enrolled 55 V C Behaviors
  • Franklin 2,564 enrolled
  • 94.9 attendance 87 V C Behaviors
  • Silva Health Magnet 717 enrolled
  • 96.2 attendance 0 V C Behaviors
  • Sunset 220 enrolled
  • 98.7 attendance no data
  • Delta Academy 89 enrolled
  • 100 attendance no data
  • Telles Academy 100 enrolled
  • 87.1 attendance no data

Statement of Hypothesis/Null
  • Hypothesis Students who are chronically absent
    and/or class cutters are engaged in risk-taking
    behaviors during regular school time.
  • Null Hypothesis Students who are chronically
    absent and/or class cutters are not engaged in
    risk-taking behaviors during regular school time.

  • Participants
  • 13 High Schools
  • 1,080 participants
  • Schools with more than 1,000 students, 100
    at-risk participants
  • Schools with less than 1,000 students, 20 at-risk

Method continued
  • Classification of at-risk student
  • Did not maintain average equivalent to 70 in two
    or more subjects in the foundation curriculum.
  • Was not advanced from one grade level to the
  • Did not perform satisfactory on TAKS/TAAS.
  • Is pregnant or is a parent.
  • Has been placed in an Alternative Education
    Program (AEP).
  • Currently on parole or probation.
  • Is a LEP student or homeless.

Methods continued
  • Procedure
  • Time frame 2003/2004 school year
  • Contact At-Risk Coordinator and principal
  • Alphabetical list of at-risk students
  • Pre-selected time and place
  • Every 7th student
  • Two days for all schools
  • Parent consent form

Methods Continued
  • Five days for each schoolSurvey
  • Stage 1 Give survey to present students
  • Stage 2 Give survey to students not present on
    day 1.
  • Stage 3 Incentives, used at local stores, given
    to participants in Stage 1 and 2. Mail out
    surveys to absent students not present during
    Stages 1, 2, and 3.

Methods Continued
  • Instruments 28 Question survey
  • The study is three fold
  • Evaluate the chronic absentees and class cutter
    students with risk-taking behaviors.
  • Evaluate chronic absentees and class cutters
    involvement in risk-taking behaviors.
  • Evaluate grade level involvement and risk-taking

Data Analysis
  • First Analysis
  • The Correlation will be used to determine if
    chronic absentees and class cutters are engaged
    in risk-taking behaviors.
  • Second Analysis
  • Independent Sample t-test will be used to measure
    the means between chronic absentee students vs.
    class cutting students.
  • Third Analysis
  • A paired t-test will be conducted to determine
    the frequency of risk-taking behaviors of each
    grade levels.

Data Analysis Continued
  • Limitations of Study
  • Pool of students 1,080
  • At-risk students not general population
  • Different policies and procedures at each school
    with regard to discipline
  • Demographics (Border city vs. Northern Texas
  • Gender reaction to risk-taking behaviors

Data Analysis Continued
  • Delimitations of Study
  • Students move without informing school
  • Chronically ill students
  • Failure to return Consent forms
  • Lack of participation from schools
  • Time element for principals and At-Risk
  • Return of mailed surveys
  • Wrong address of participant

  • Projected costs for 1,080 participants
  • Clasp envelopes 54.00
  • Copies of Survey 540.00
  • Copies of Consent Forms 324.00
  • 100 extra copies of Consent Forms 30.00
  • Stamps 400.00
  • Labels 10.99
  • Return Clasp, stamped, labeled envelopes 464.99
  • Thank you Cards 12.99
  • Taxes for total purchase 151.55
  • Total cost 1,934.52
  • Surveys being exactly what we want
  • Priceless

  • Bracey, Gerald W. (1996). Phi Delta Kappan.
    Dropping Ou A Complex Phenomenon, v77,386.
  • Capps, William R. (2003). School Administrator.
    The New Face of Truancy, v60(4), 34.
  • Corville-Smith, Ryan, Adams, Dalicandro (1998).
    Journal of Youth and Adolescence.
  • Distinguishing Absentee Students from Regular
    Attenders The Combined Influence of
  • Personal, Family, and School Factors, v27, No.5,
  • Dougherty, John W. (1999). Phi Delta Kappa
    Fastbacks. Attending to Attendance, v450, 7-49.
  • Epstein, Sheldon (2002). The Journal of
    Educational Research. Present and Accounted for
  • Improving Student Attendance Through Family and
    Community Involvement, v95(5), 308-318.
  • Gabb, Sean (1997). Truancy in the United States
    A Brief Overview. Review of the book Issues
  • in School Attendance and Truancy. Pitman Press,
    Ch 12.
  • Garry, Eileen M. (1996). Truancy First Step to a
    Lifetime of Problems.
  • Goldberg, Margaret E. (1999). Social Work in
    Education. Truancy and Dropout Among
  • Cambodian Students Results From a Comprehensive
    High School, v21(1), 49,15,1.
  • Gullatt, Lemoine (1997). American Secondary
    Education. Truancy Whats a Principal to Do?,
  • V26, 7-12.
  • Guttmacher, Weitzman, Kapadia, Weinberg (2002).
    Classroom-Based Surveys of Adolescent
  • Risk-Taking Behaviors Reducing the Bias of
    Absenteeism. (Report No. 00900036)
  • American Journal of Public Health. (ERIC Document
    Reproduction Service No. EA5EB276)
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