Future lives of truants: family formation and health-related behaviour

Br J Educ Psychol. 1990 Jun;60 ( Pt 2):171-9. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8279.1990.tb00934.x.


This paper examines early adult outcomes of truancy regarding family formation and health-related behaviour, and is based on data collected in the National Child Development Study, which surveyed all people in Great Britain born in the week 3-9 March 1958, at birth, and at ages 7, 11, 16 and 23. Truants compared to non-truants were found to be relatively more likely to have experienced marital breakdown by the age of 23. They had more children, and their age at the birth of their first child was younger. Truants differed little from non-truants regarding their drinking habits, but were more prone to being heavy smokers. They also showed an increased likelihood of depression. Differences remained after controlling for social background, prior educational attainment, school attendance and qualifications obtained. The authors conclude that truancy appears to be associated with subsequent marital and psychological problems in early adulthood.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Family*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Development
  • Student Dropouts / psychology*