School Absence in Finland and in Sweden

”School Absence in Finland and in Sweden” is a research project about problematic absences in these two countries. Most times, absence from school is non-problematic and related to everyday happenings, such as a dentist’s appointment or staying home sick. Sometimes the absence is related to anxiety and distress, or the young person rather spending time outside of school, and the absence can increase, and ultimately develop into chronic, total absence from school.

In the present study, we study three self- and parent report instruments that can be used as screening instruments. With the use of the screening tools, the reasons for the absences can be assessed, and properly targeted interventions planned.  We will collect data from 1000 pupils aged 11-16 in Finland and in Sweden, and from 500 parents. We will analyse how the instruments work, how well they can detect and identify problematic absences and its causes.

In the data collection, we will also ask about occurrence of absences, and how problematic absence is related to eg. problematic internet use/gaming.

Stories about absence from school- experiences of pupils, families, and school professionals

Another project about school absenteeism ” Stories about absence from school- experiences of pupils, families, and school professionals” collects written stories about absenteeism from different parties involved. We want to know about the experiences of the child, the family, parents and siblings, and school professionals. We want to know how the absenteeism began, early signs and the reasons for it, how it developed, how the school reacted, what actually helped, what did not etc. We want to collect data on what has been helpful in a difficult situation, and what has not.