An Investigation To The Causes And Effects Of Truancy Among Secondary School Students

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An Investigation To The Causes And Effects Of Truancy Among Secondary School Students


This study was a survey that identified the causes and effects of truancy among secondary school students in Esan South-East Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria. Target population of the study comprised of all the 127,124 Senior Secondary Schools Students in Esan South-East Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria. However, sample for the study consisted of 2,750 SS 11 Students selected from 12 Secondary Schools across the Local Government. 1,500 subjects were selected from Male Secondary Schools and 1,250 were selected from Female Secondary Schools in the State. Stratified random sampling technique was adopted in picking subjects for the study. The stratification was based on school type, location and gender. Researchers self designed questionnaire tagged Causes and Effects of Truancy Questionnaire (CETQ) was the instrument used to collect data for the study. The instrument was divided into three parts (A, B and C). Part A obtained information on biodata of the respondents; part B elicited data on causes of truancy while part C was on the effects of truancy among secondary school students in Esan South-East Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria. Descriptive statistical techniques of frequency counts and percentages were used to analyze the research questions. The responses were further ranked to give a pictorial view of the respondents rating of each item on the instrument while t-test was used in testing the null-hypotheses at 0.05 confidence level. Results of the study indicated examination phobia, peer influence, single parenting and lack of books as the major causes of truancy while less value attached to education, lack of parental affection, anxiety and non-familiarity with attendance laws as the minor causes. The study revealed poor academic performance and school dropout as the major effects of truancy while self hatred and indulgence in drugs were the minor effects. It also revealed that no significant differences exist between school type, location, gender and truancy among secondary school students.

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of Study

Truancy among students has become a growing problem. It is the act of deliberately missing one or more classes. Globally, truancy has been regarded as a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabrics of the educational programmes and has caused a lot of setbacks for secondary school students in their educational pursuits (Stoll, 1993; Gesinde, 2004; Adeyemi, 2006; Animasahun, 2007b). It leads to potential delinquent activity, social isolation, or educational failure via suspension, expulsion, or dropping out (Huizinga, Loeber, Thornberry & Cothern, 2000; Huizinga, Loeber & Thornberry, 1994; Morris, Ehren & Lenz, 1991).

Truancy is any intentional unauthorized or illegal absence from compulsory schooling. It may also refer to students who attend school but do not go to classes.

Truancy is non-school attendance behaviour. It is an irregular attendance of school. Truancy is a delinquent and antisocial behaviour (Animasahun, 2009). Animasahun (2007a) suggested truancy to be an act of staying off school, which is one of the several kinds of antisocial behaviours.

Truancy has been conceptualized as unjustified intentional absence from school (Petegem, 1994). Fogelman and Hibbett (1995) opined that any absence from school without an acceptable reason is truancy.

Gabb (1997) is of the view that a truant student leaves home but does not get to school or escapes from school or class to engage in any other activities that catch up his imaginations. Indeed, it is a type of deviant behavior exhibited by some students in schools without formal permission from the school administration or authority governing the institution.

Causes and levels of the contributing factors of truancy are numerous and diverse. Truancy results from several factors. Truancy is a four-fold problem which stems from the student, student’s family background, the school and the community. Rohrman (1993) and Kinder, Harland, Wilkin & Wakefield (1995) submitted that child (personality), family, school and community are the causes of truancy. In the same vein, Osarenren (1996) see the home, school environment, peer group culture and society as causes of truancy among students. Reports from various parts of the world upheld that truancy may be associated with adverse social and health outcome later in life.

A number of studies have reported that adults who were truant as adolescents were more likely to experience marital or job instability and psychosocial maladjustment when compared to their counterparts who were not truant as adolescents (Hibbett, Fogelman & Manor, 1990; Tyrer & Tyrer, 1974; Hibbett & Fogelman, 1990). Students, who commit truancy, commit deviant acts at a higher rate than students who stay in school. Deviant acts include, but are not limited to theft, burglary, robbery, drug use and sale, assault, various sex-related crimes, and even murder. A 1990 study by Obondo and Dhadphale reported that about 10% of school non-attendance by children in Kenya was due to truancy (Obondo & Dhadphale, 1990).

Truancy breeds educational wastage and poor human power development (Rumberger, 1987; Nwagwu, 1999); production of hoodlums, social misfit, antisocial individual and eventual criminals (Animasahun, 2005) and gateway to crime (Adeyemi, 2011; Animasahun (2007a). Rohrman (1993) stated that peers have an invaluable and influential role to play in providing both the support and context necessary for the learning of new skills and that they act as reinforcing agents of socialization. In own findings, Baker and Jansen (2000) believe that truancy leads to lower academic achievements. While Garry (2001) stated that truancy leads to delinquent and criminal activities.

Also, Osarenren (1996) stated that children attempt to model their behaviours according to what represents the standard of their peer group. The study in this regard wishes to determine the causes and effects of truancy among secondary school students using Esan South-East Local Government Area of Edo State as the case study.

1.2 Statement of Problems

Over a long period of time the problem of truancy among students in secondary school a drift has been a serious one which generated a matter of concerns among scholars. This problem of truancy has militated against the goals and objectives setup by the parents and our educational policy makers for the education. the daily reduction of this students due to truancy in a school also creates a high rate of absenteeism this leads to the poor result of the students truancy can mislead some students to different kinds of crime of the following:

  1. Stealing
  2. Fighting
  3. Understanding type of activities that are worthless
  4. Using and bullying on people

In this research, my mere writing cannot put a stop to the problem of truancy; but can do so by suggesting way to be carried out by the government and education authorities. A student may be naturally gifted if he becomes a delinquent in the school, he cannot develop his innate potentialities to the fullest. Truancy is a common in the life of the students themselves their parents and in turn development of a nation.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study include as follows:

  1. To examine the causes and effect of truancy on secondary school students.
  2. To know the purpose why students exposed (indulge) to truancy.
  3. To investigate the leading factor to truancy among students.
  4. To put forward some recommendations on the causes and effects of truancy in the life of the students.

1.4 Significance of the Study

The study of the causes and effect of truancy among secondary school students is advantageous. As the evil can easily spread as wildfire, it should be stopped to avoid many students falling into it as victims. If the evil in our school and other similar sources, the students will have limited access to perform well in school activities; any where the clever ones have the chance to go higher.

Students are exposed to the pleasure of good loves of school environment where by they interact for the development of their society; facing the solution of these crimes like lateness to school, serving as a bus conductor during school hours, hunting birds in the bush at the time they are supported to be in school, will be drastically there reduced.

Finally, this study and research finding will also be significant in such a way that it will serve as a pointer to other research who may be interested in the study.

1.5 Research Questions

  1. What are the factors responsible for truancy in secondary school students?
  2. What are the effects of truancy in the life of the students in secondary schools?
  3. Why do the students so easily get involved in truancy?

1.6 Scope of the Study

The focus and the coverage of this research work is on Esan South-East Local Government Area of Edo State. The choice of the area is based on that fact that the area is the researchers place of on central origin and that the research is very conversant with the area. There is no doubt because the study will give a relative and reliable picture of this situation in other similar areas of Edo State.


This research is designed to entertain many main and sub problems. According to P. O. Adeyomo assume that the following causes of truancy are common in the society which are:

  1. keeping in a bad company
  2. Uninteresting lesson of the teacher
  3. Teacher as a truant
  4. Lack of school materials
  5. Failures to comply with school requirements
  6. The students keeping awake nearby all the right and does not get up early enough to prepare for school.
  7. Laziness on the part of school students.

Although this study is restricted to the teachers and students; because the investigator is interested in the factors in the school

1.7 Definition of Terms


This could be defined as the practice by which the students leave home for school but do not reach their destination rather they stay mid way between home and school when school close. They return carry their boxes or bags and go home in accompany of their mates in the pretence that they have close or returned from school.

Chapter Five

Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Conclusion

Based on the findings of the study, it can be concluded that:

  1. Examination phobia, peer influence, single parenting, lack of books and non-payment of school fees were ranked the top most causes of truancy among secondary school students in Esan South-East Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria while non-chalant attitude of guardians, less value attached to education, lack of parental affection, anxiety and non-familiarity with attendance laws were ranked the lowest causes of truancy in the study area.
  2. Poor academic performance, school dropout and social rejection by peers were ranked the top most effects of truancy among secondary school students in Esan South-East Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria while stealing; self hatred and indulgence in drugs were ranked as the least effects.
  3. There exist no significant differences between gender, school type, location and truancy among secondary school students in Esan South-East Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria. Thus

5.2 Recommendations

Based on findings of the study, the following recommendations are made:

  1. Functional counselling centers should be established in all secondary schools across the State by Esan South-East Local Government Area of Edo State government through Ministry of education.
  2. Parents whose wards are truants should be prosecuted or made to pay fine
  3. Students that are punctual should be positively rewarded to ginger up the truants
  4. Education at post primary school level should be made free and compulsory by the State government in addition to providing free books and school uniforms.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do schools still have truancy officers?

Where it exists, a school truancy officer is often a constable or sheriff, concurrently. Children are required by law to attend school until they reach a certain age, which varies by state (typically 16–18 years), unless an absence is formally excused by a school official or the child has been expelled.

What causes truancy, violence in schools?

School discipline, family background and school location are among causes of truancy among school students 2005. Siziya, Muula and Rudatsikira in their study found that truancy adolescents had been reported to engage in risky sexual practice, illicit drug use, alcohol drinking and cigarette smoking.

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