Patterns of school non-attendance: An optimal matching analysis of school attendance data.

Project Details


School absenteeism is known to hamper academic achievement,
predict a range of school-related problems and cause early school
leaving. The need for effective intervention for school absenteeism is
evident. However, intervention of school absenteeism is hindered by
the lack of reliable criteria to differentiate between problematic and
non-problematic school absenteeism. In this project, we aim to fill
that gap by applying the relative new method of optimal matching to
search for patterns in the timing, duration and sequence of school
non-attendance. In addition, we will relate these identified patterns in
non-attendance to educational outcomes and validate these patterns
through a cross-national comparison between Flanders (the Dutchspeaking part of Belgium) and Denmark.

To this end, we seek to answer three related research questions. (1) Can we identify typical patterns of non-attendance? (2) What are the consequences of such
patterns? (3) Vary such patterns cross-nationally? By answering
these questions, this project ultimately aims to propose uniform and
standardized criteria for differentiation between problematic and nonproblematic absenteeism to inform stakeholders on the timing of
intervention and to stimulate meaningful comparisons of school
absenteeism across studies and different countries
Effective start/end date1/11/2023/10/23


  • School attendance problem
  • Conceptualization
  • Optimal matching

Flemish discipline codes

  • Education policy
  • Educational and school psychology
  • Sociology of child, adolescence and youth
  • Sociology of education