School Absenteeism, Health-Related Quality of Life [HRQOL] and Happiness among Young Adults Aged 16-26 Years

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Sep 9;16(18):3321. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16183321.


This study examines the association between school absenteeism, health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and happiness among young adults aged 16-26 years attending vocational education. Cross-sectional data from a survey among 676 young adults were analyzed. School absenteeism was measured by the self-reported number of sick days in the past eight weeks and hours of truancy in the past four weeks. HRQOL was measured by the 12-item Short Form Health Survey; physical and mental component summary scores were calculated. General happiness was assessed on a scale of 0-10, higher scores indicating greater happiness. Linear regression analyses were performed. The study population had a mean age of 18.5 years (SD 2.2); 26.1% were boys. Young adults with ≥5 sick days or ≥6 h of truancy reported lower mental HRQOL compared to young adults without sickness absence or truancy (p < 0.05). Young adults with 1-4 and ≥5 sick days reported lower physical HRQOL compared to young adults who had not reported to be sick (p < 0.05). Young adults with 1-5 h and ≥6 h of truancy reported higher physical HRQOL compared to young adults who were not truant (p < 0.05). No associations were observed between school absence and happiness. Lower self-reported mental HRQOL was observed among young adults with more school absenteeism due to sickness or truancy. Sickness absence was additionally associated with lower physical HRQOL.

Keywords: happiness; health-related quality of life; school absence; sickness absence; truancy; vocational education; young adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Happiness*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Quality of Life*
  • Schools / statistics & numerical data*
  • Self Report
  • Young Adult