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1.1 Background of the study

Truancy is a term used to describe any intentional unauthorized absence from compulsory school. The term truancy, typically refers to absence caused by students of their own free will, and usually does not refer to legitimate excused absence, such as ones related to a medicated conditions. Truancy is the term referring to an absence that is associated with the most brazen students’ irresponsibility and results in the greatest consequences. It also refers to students who attend schools but do not attend classes. Atkinson, Hasley, Wilkin and Kindler (2000) pointed to differences in the extent of absence, from avoidance of single lesson to absence of several weeks. Truancy refers to absence from school and delinquent behaviour among young people as they negotiate the transition from childhood to adulthood in an increasingly complex and confusing world (Henry, 2007). Although the issue of truancy is an age long problem, it seems that the truancy of the past cannot be compared with that of the present era. The antisocial behaviours often associated with the truancy’ include vandalism, drug abuse, weapon carrying, alcohol abuse, rape, examination malpractices, school violence, bullying, cultism, delinquency, school drop-outs, to mention but a few. Obviously, unless something is done to roll back the wave of truancy, the prospect of a better, safer and more prosperous society emerging in Nigeria will remain elusive.

The family is the foundation of human society. Families are the strongest socializing forces of life. They teach children to eschew unacceptable behaviour, to delay gratification and to respect the right of others. Conversely, families can teach children aggressive, anti-social, and violent behaviours. Also, children who are rejected by their parents, who grow up in homes with considerable conflicts, or who are inadequately supervised are at the greatest risk of becoming truant.

Sociology of education makes us to know that the family is the first primary social group that the child first belongs to, come in contact with, and this group has a greater influence on the child’s physical, mental and moral development. The family lays the foundation of education before the child goes to school and the personality that the child takes to school is determined by the home/family (Maduewesi and Emenogu, 1997).  Adolescence is a time of expanding vulnerabilities and opportunities that accompany the widening social and geographical exposure to life beyond the school or family, but it starts with the family. The modern culture has changed and outgrown the values and beliefs that were thought to be the core beliefs and values of our society.

Despite increasing evidence that school truancy and absenteeism have attracted much interest, international educational research and policy discourses over the past two decades (Reid’2010; Daziel and Henthome 2005; Roth-man 2004; Morris and Rutt 2004), this behaviour remains a serious issue for schools and communities worldwide. General consensus seem to exist among researchers that school truancy may be linked to serious, immediate and far-reaching consequences for youth, families, schools and communities at large. Jesse (2014) refers to truancy as a gateway crime in that a great majority of inmates in adult jails report their first appearance before a judge was as a juvenile on truancy charges. This level of concern over truancy has inevitably resulted in significant efforts by researchers, practitioners, schools and policy makers to try and understand and address this increasingly serious problem (Maynard et al. 2013). However, much of the extant literature focuses predominantly on the school and community related factors which lead to truant behaviour, with limited attention being paid to the contribution made by the learners’ home-based circumstances in leading to school truancy and non-attendance (Maynard et al. 2012). This study therefore seeks to explore family related factors and circumstances that may contribute to the prevalence of skipping school by learners which may be one of several risk factors for serious pathologies later in life.

1.2      Statement of the Problem

Truancy is an educational, social and law enforcement problem. Truancy among adolescents jeopardizes chances of achieving their educational goals. ( Siziya, Muula and Rudatsikira, 2007) Student’s non-attendance to classes is a problem that extends much further than the school. It affects the students the family and the society on very high levels. Globally, truancy has been identified as the most powerful predictor of delinquency and indiscipline among youths. Absenteeism is detrimental to students’ achievement promotion graduation self-esteem and employment potential. Clearly students who miss school fall behind their peers in the classroom. Consequently this leads to low-esteem and increase poor academic  performance that will cause student drop out of school. As a matter of fact truancy threatens students’ academic performance progress; success can serve as an indicator of dysfunction in many other areas of human endeavour. If the matter is left unaddressed If the matter is left unaddressed, truancy will contribute to a myriad of problems for young people during the school years and into adulthood. Therefore the main research problem of this study borders on finding the causes and levels of truancy among secondary school students with special reference to Ikeja Local Government Area, Lagos State.

1.3      Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to find out the influence of parental styles on the truant behaviour of secondary school students. Specifically, it sought to:

i.          Identify the causes of truant behaviour among secondary school student.

ii.        Examine how parenting styles can influence truant behaviour among secondary school students.

iii.       Highlight other factors apart from parenting style as determinants of truant behaviour.

iv.        Determine consequences of truant behaviour on the adolescent growth and development

v.         Explain the psychological/counseling interventions to be given to truant behaviour among secondary school students.

vi.        Determine the influence of truancy on academic performance among secondary school students.

1.4      Research Questions

To guide the proper conduct of this study, the following research questions were raised.

1.         What are the causes of truancy among students in secondary school?

2.        How does parenting style can influence truant behaviour among secondary school students?

3.         What are the other factors apart from parenting style as determinants to truant behaviour?

4.        What are the consequences of truant behaviour on the adolescent growth and development?

5.         What are the psychological/counseling interventions to be used for truant behaviour among secondary students?

6.        How does truancy affect the academic performance among secondary school students?

1.5      Significance of the Study

            The findings of the study will be relevant to social workers, counseling psychologists, policy makers in education and the teachers. It will also fill an existing gap in the field of knowledge acquisition (Research) and to contribute to existing literature on truant behaviour and its management.

1.6      Scope of the Study

            This study is designed to cover Ikeja Local Government Area of Lagos State. This study focuses on parental influences on the incidences of truant behaviour among secondary school students. It is not limited to public secondary school students; it is for both public and private secondary school.

1.5      Significance of Study

The findings of this study will be relevant to counselors, social workers and educators. Truancy is a treat to the society and any useful finding aimed at curtailing the scourge will be welcome by all cadres of the society.

1.6      Scope of the study

This study, is designed to cover Ikeja Local Government Area Lagos State.

This study centres on parental influences on the incidences of truant behavior

among secondary school students. It is not limited to pubic secondary school

students, it is for both public and private secondary schools.

1.7  Definition of Terms

Truant:-   a student who misses school without permission

Behaviour:- the way in which one acts or conducts oneself, especially towards others.

Truancy:- is any intentional unauthorized or illegal absence from compulsory education. It is absences caused by students of their own free will, and usually does not refer to legitimate “excused” absences, such as ones related to medical conditions.

Parenting:- is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, financial, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood.

Single parent:– sometimes called a solo parent, is a parent, not living with a spouse or partner, who has most of the day-to-day responsibilities in raising the child or children.

Concept:- It’s a general idea about a thing or group of things, derived from specific instances or occurrences. It often applies to a theoretical idea in science: Einstein’s contribution to the concept of relativity. Concept was borrowed from Late Latin conceptus, from Latin concipere “to take in, conceive, receive,” A concept is an idea conceived in the mind. The original meaning of the verb conceive was to take sperm into the womb, and by a later extension of meaning, to take an idea into the mind.

This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research

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