School Absenteeism Interventions – A Litterature Review

Which interventions are able to prevent problematic absenteeism in the public school? A systematic study of literature will examine the Danish and international experiences connected with preventing and reducing school absenteeism and recommend interventions which – with advantage – could be tested in a Danish context.

Time period:

2014 – 2016.

Target group:

Pupils in public school, from kinder garden to 10th grade, with existing school absenteeism beyond the average or with risk of developing a problem with school absenteeism.


The School Absenteeism Study – carried out by TrygFonden’s Centre for Child Research in 2013-2015 – has shown that frequent school absenteeism especially affects children with low well-being and children from homes with a poor cooperation with school. Among pupils with especially problematic absenteeism from school – i.e. pupils who are absent more than 10 % of all school hours – you find a range of specific characteristics. The children often have divorced parents, are pupils in the lower secondary school, have a lower academic level, attend more often special classes, have a lower well-being and have a more frequently contact to the Educational Psychological Counselling in the municipality. Likewise, overweight children have a higher propensity to school absenteeism. More have emotional problems or a problematic behaviour, have a chronic disease and have, to a greater extent, a social phobia (according to the parents’ reporting). Finally, the parents’ cooperation with the teacher is typically lower.

By a systematic literature review of international and Danish intervention studies, a synthesis of knowledge is produced about what we know in connection with prevention of problematic school absenteeism as well as what increases school children’s turnout in school. The focus will be at intervention studies that test interventions, which can be initiated in school and by the employees at school. The literature review is supposed to inform future intervention studies in a Danish context.


Expected in 2016.


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