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Summary

The typical truant does not exist: An empirical research on different categories of occasional truants in Flanders .1

This study provides insight into the conceptual understanding of truant behavior by exploring different types of occasional truants among 4189 youngsters in secondary education in Flanders (the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium). Occasional truancy can be interpreted as the most accessible form of truant behavior, a category that is often not reflected in published figures of unauthorized absence and differs from problematic truant behavior. Six key indicators were employed to identify three types of occasional truants: ‘homestayers’, ‘traditional truants’ and ‘condoned social truants’. First, our findings suggest that the three types of truants each shape their truant behavior in a unique way. Second, specific social characteristics can be related to each type of truant. In the discussion we demonstrate how studying different types of truants can be important for understanding how truant behavior can be identified and prevented.
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Keywords: Identification of truant youth; Operationalization study; Secondary education; Truancy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Gil Keppens is als doctoraatsstudent verbonden aan onderzoeksgroep TOR (vub.ac.be/TOR) van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel. E-mail: ., Email: E-mail: [email protected] 2: Bram Spruyt is docent bij de onderzoeksgroep TOR van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Correspondentieadres: Gil Keppens, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050, Brussel.

Publication date: June 1, 2015

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