Partners for Our Children

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.