Date of Award

7-1-2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Social Work

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Social Work Policy Planning and Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Sarita Davis

Second Advisor

Dr. Margaret Counts-Spriggs

Third Advisor

Dr. Antavius Weems

Abstract

This embedded mixed methods study explored school social workers’ perceptions regarding the effectiveness of current truancy interventions, which truancy interventions are most effective in reducing truancy among African American high school students, and what makes the truancy interventions effective. The study population included school social workers from the state of Georgia who had at least one year of school social work practice with African American high school students. The independent variables were parental involvement, professional development for teachers, mentoring, collaboration with community partners and filing truancy petitions with the juvenile courts. To carry out the study, a questionnaire was used to collect the quantitative data and focus groups were facilitated to collect the qualitative data. Descriptive analysis (mean, central tendency) was used to analyze the quantitative data with a paired t-test to determine any significance between the degree of importance and effectiveness of the truancy interventions in general. Discussion was used to analyze the qualitative results of the study. The findings of the study reveal that all of the truancy interventions were generally rated as important and effective truancy interventions. However, mentoring was rated specifically, as the most effective truancy interventions to reduce truancy among African American high school students. Implications for policy and social work practice are discussed.

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