HPR_20_71.pdf 754 KB
The meaning making process of school non-attendance
The current study sought to elucidate the meaning-making process of school non-attendance for individuals who had experienced the phenomenon. Specifically, individuals who experienced school non-attendance were interviewed about how they felt and struggled at that time, how their feelings changed, and what kinds of meaning they found after the experience.
Participants were 15 individuals who had experienced school non-attendance at some point during elementary school or high school (age: 18–32 years). Data were collected using a semi-structured interview, and analyzed using the trajectory equifinality model (TEM).
The results revealed that participants struggled when they were absent from school, whether they felt the necessity of going to school or not. Three categories of impact were found after the experience of school non-attendance: “Positive changes in situations”, “Positive changes in mind” and “Problems due to the influence of school non-attendance”. Some participants experienced a sense of guilt for their families and friends when they were absent from school that persisted for longer than 10 years. In addition, most participants experienced problems after school non-attendance.
The results suggested that, even though individuals who experienced school non-attendance overcame mental conflicts, continuous support was needed. Developing approaches to address the sense of guilt may be beneficial.