Key Takeaway:
This study finds that middle school students with greater absenteeism at the start of the study tended toward increased depression and behavior problems after a year.

This study tests a model of influences between absenteeism and youth psychopathology using 3 longitudinal datasets. Elementary and high school participants were regularly interviewed and included self-, parent-, and teacher-report questionnaires. Structural cross-lagged regression models were tested. In a nationally representative sample, middle school students with greater absenteeism at the start of the study tended toward increased depression and behavior problems after a year. Middle and high school students showed decreased depression and behavior when school absenteeism decreased. The effects over time were more evident in adolescence than in childhood.

Citation

Wood, J. J., Lynne-Landsman, S. D., Langer, D. A., Wood, P. A., Clark, S. L., Eddy, J. M., & Ialongo, N. (2011). School attendance problems and youth psychopathology: Structural cross-lagged regression models in three longitudinal datasets. Child Development, 82(1), 443-447. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01566.x