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Justice Evaluation Journal





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Chronic absenteeism is related to poor academic performance, delinquency, and other high-risk behaviors. Although research has found some promising interventions to reduce absenteeism, the literature lacks clarity on operationalizing absenteeism and when programs should intervene with youth who have varying absenteeism patterns. Using the Response to Intervention (RtI) framework to classify youth into tiers based on their degree of absenteeism, the present study evaluated 12 absenteeism programs, across 137 schools, with a sample of 1,606 youth as part of a statewide evaluation in which programs provided attendance data using a common measurement system. The findings indicated that youth with the highest rates of absenteeism (Tier 3) showed significant improvement in attendance during intervention, whereas youth with fewer absences (Tiers 1A, 1B, and 2) did not significantly improve attendance. Using a mixed repeated measures analysis to compare attendance prior to the program to attendance while in the program, results revealed that tier classification and school explained change in attendance for both excused and unexcused absences. Using common measurement for absenteeism and tier classifications is a useful framework for comparing attendance patterns and program success across programs within different schools, school districts, and states whose measurement of attendance may vary.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Justice Evaluation Journal on September 28, 2018, available online:

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