Vol. 17 (2010)

Factors Influencing Students' Absenteeism in Primary Schools in Jamaica: Perspectives of Community Members

Loraine D. Cook
The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus


  • Primary School Students,
  • Student Attendance,
  • Absenteeism,
  • Social Factors,
  • Jamaica


This study sought to determine the root causes of absenteeism in selected primary schools in Jamaica by investigating the influence of personal, educational, and community factors on student absenteeism from school. Data collection techniques involved the use of focus group interviews with parents, teachers, and community members from 71 schools, and with students (aged 7-12 years) from 10 of these schools, who were identified as having very low attendance rates. The findings suggest that the causal factors for absenteeism do not find their genesis in the family only, but also in the schools, the communities, and the students themselves. These factors combine to accentuate absenteeism in primary school in the rural area of Jamaica.