Date of Submission



This research was concerned with the phenomenon of problematic school-related absenteeism (PSRA) within the Victorian secondary school system with particular reference to middle schooling. The study investigated categories of PSRA, identified major risk factors associated with PSRA, and outlined outcomes relevant to selected school-based strategies employed in the management and minimisation of PSRA. A review of literature was undertaken that identified a number of major categories and risk factors that were associated with PSRA. Subsequently, a conceptual framework was developed. It was the conceptual framework underpinned by the research questions that guided the research design and the collection and analysis of data. Five research questions underpinned this research. The primary research question was: ""In relation to problematic school-related absenteeism, are there any emergent trends or patterns highlighted in the analysis of data concerning class of school classification, namely, Catholic Boys, Catholic Co-educational, Catholic Girls, Government, and Independent within the Victorian secondary school system."" The study was developed with reference to a number of social and contextual issues and factors that related to middle school students under investigation. The first stage of the study involved the collection of data through the Student Questionnaire: School-Related Absenteeism, Student-Questionnaire: Middle School Transition, and School Questionnaire: Parental Condoned Absenteeism from which an empirical database was constructed. Data received from students and schools were analysed and emergent patterns or trends associated with PSRA were established. The second stage involved twelve case study profiles in which Year 9 students' perceptions in relation to school life were investigated. The case study profiles provided a greater insight into key risk factors associated with PSRA.;The case study profiles not only provided greater insight and depth into risk factors associated with PSRA, but also highlighted student-related issues such as educational outcomes, future aspirations, and the meaning of citizenship. Finally, the thesis presented a number of curriculum and policy recommendations to all key stakeholders including schools directly involved with the research and policy makers such as the Department of Education and Training and the Catholic Education Office.


School of Education

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


303 pages

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Faculty of Education