Truancy interventions: A review of the research literature

Richard D. Sutphen, Janet P. Ford, Chris Flaherty

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Objectives: This article presents a systematic review of the literature on evaluative studies of truancy interventions. Method: Included studies evaluating truancy interventions appearing in peer-reviewed academic journals from 1990 to 2007. Findings: In total, 16 studies were assessed. Eight studies used group comparison designs and eight studies used one-group pretest/posttest designs. Studies varied on sample sizes, definitions of truant behavior, focus of interventions, and dependent measures. Conclusions: Six studies produced useful and promising interventions including contingency management, school reorganization, punitive measures, community partnerships, and family-oriented activities. The substantial methodological shortcomings, inconsistent definitions, and lack of replication demonstrate a need for more and better evaluation studies to provide a more definitive knowledge base to guide effective truancy interventions for practitioners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-171
Number of pages11
JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Adolescents
  • Education
  • Evidence-based practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology (all)


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