Quality of School Life and Absenteeism in Primary Schools

Year: 2000

Author: LEONARD, C

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper presents a study of possible relationships between quality of school life and absenteeism of 254 Year 5 and 6 students in 19 classes at 6 Lower Hunter Valley primary schools. The Quality of School Life (Ainley & Bourke, 1992) scales were used as indicators of student satisfaction and stress. The contextual variables of gender, school, class, number of days absent and, for the majority of students, year of schooling were collected and investigated for their relationship with student absence.

The analyses indicated a strong link between student perception of the quality of their school life and absenteeism. Where students felt less stress they were absent less often than students who were more stressed. Female students were also more likely to be absent than males.

Implications of these results are then discussed including the apparent importance of positive peer relationships and an exciting and enjoyable curriculum in ensuring students have a high quality of school life. The need for the provision of support services to students who indicated a high level of dissatisfaction with their school life is also highlighted.