UCLA CTSI-Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS) Projects
Principal Investigators: Raymond Perry (DHS), Tony Kuo (DPH), Lauren Gase (UCLA)
School truancy is associated with a variety of negative behavioral and health consequences. In addition, health factors may contribute to why students miss school. This project aims to gain better understanding of the characteristics and needs of truant youth in order to identify opportunities for improving school attendance in Los Angeles County. The project focuses on three research questions: 1) What are the characteristics and needs (e.g., academic, social, health) of truant youth?; 2) How do youth who cut or skip class encounter different school- community- and law-enforcement based systems?; and 3) What programs and policies can help meet the needs of truant youth? To answer these questions, we conducted key informant interviews with representatives from schools, law-enforcement, and community based organizations; in-depth interviews with youth who have school attendance problems; and a review of evidence-based diversion programs and interventions.