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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 72138 Find in a Library
Title: National Survey of Attitudes Toward Habitual Truancy Held by Juvenile Court Judges and Public Secondary School Administrators
Author(s): C T Holt
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 111
Sponsoring Agency: UMI Dissertation Services
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
Sale Source: UMI Dissertation Services
300 North Zeeb Road
P.O. Box 1346
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
United States of America
Type: Thesis/Dissertation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A national survey examined the attitudes of juvenile court judges and public school administrators toward habitual truants with regard to causes and punishments for truancy.
Abstract: A review of major theories concerning delinquency and its relationship to truancy, schools, and juvenile courts reveals that little attention has been paid to personal attitudes toward truancy exhibited by the two systems which handle the problem, the school, and the juvenile court. A questionnaire was mailed to 200 judges selected from the membership list of the National Council of Juvenile Court Judges so that all States and the District of Columbia were surveyed. Judges were asked to include the name of their courts' school contacts, and these administrators were later mailed a similar questionnaire, as were 15 school superintendents in Nevada. By early 1975, questionnaires from 171 juvenile court judges and 85 school administrators representing 45 States, the District of Columbia, and 2 trust territories had been returned for analysis. Judge and educator responses indicated that precise legal definitions for truancy did not exist in over half the reporting States, and it was unclear which authority determined where truancy had occurred. Judges and school administrators appeared to cooperate well on truancy cases, but school officials were more likely than judges to assume a punitive attitude toward the truant. School administrators perceived the causes of truancy to lie outside the school and attributed problems to apathetic parents, public attitudes, and the students disrespect for authority. Judges, however, saw student failure as the primary cause of truancy, citing inadequate school curriculum as a contributing factor. In this study, the courts appeared to be more interested in the educational process than the schools and did not view truancy as a predelinquent phase. However, both the juvenile courts and school administrations are found to be inadequately dealing with the issues of truancy and truants. Therefore, future study should focus on the perceptual differences of judges and administrators, to discover why these differences exist and if they occur in nontruancy-related encounters. Moreover, truancy as a concept (defiance of authority) and as a behavior (absent from school) should be examined to determine its relative significance to the study of juvenile behavior problems. Twenty-two references and the survey instruments are appended.
Index Term(s): Attitudes; Educators; Judges; Juvenile courts; Public schools; Surveys; Truancy
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. University of Nevada, Reno - masters thesis
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