Identifier

etd-04102008-161802

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Many researchers have examined the effect of truancy and student achievement. However, there has been little or no focus on the effect of truancy and non-attendance among ethnic minorities. The current study examined how African American students’ learning styles and their perceptions of teachers’ attitudes toward them and the learning environment influenced their decision to become high truants. Additionally, the study sought to find if selected demographic factors had any relevance on the truancy rate of African American students. The researcher used several assessment instruments to measure the variables being tested. The Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire (ILS), developed by Richard M. Felder and Barbara A. Soloman at North Carolina State University, was used to determine the preferred learning styles of African American students. The researcher designed instrument consisted of three parts. The first section, demographics, was used to measure descriptive interests for the researcher. The second section was used to gather data on truancy status. The third section was a 15-item questionnaire used to determine students’ perception of teachers’ attitudes toward them and the learning environment. The sample included 166 9th grade African American students enrolled in freshmen English classes in a public school located in a low socioeconomic inner-city in the southern region of the United States. Descriptive statistics, Cronbach’s alpha estimates for reliability, and multiple regression analysis were the analysis methods used in the study. The results from the analysis suggest that students with low grade point averages; those who had siblings who left school without receiving a high school diploma; those who had been in legal troubles; those who were not involved in clubs/organizations; and gender in relation to females were more likely to be truant. The variable “grade point averages” was found to be the most significant with the dependent variable “unexcused days missed.” The variables together explained 32.5% of the variance in the dependent variable.

Date

2008

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Geraldine H. Johnson

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