Truancy is a significant problem in the U.S. and in other countries around the world. Truancy has been linked to serious immediate and far-reaching consequences for youth, families, and schools and communities, leading researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to try to understand and to address the problem. Although numerous and significant steps have been taken at the local, state, and national levels to reduce truancy, the rates of truancy have at best remained stable or at worst been on the rise, depending on the indicator utilized to assess truancy rates.
The costs and impact of chronic truancy are significant, with both short- and long-term implications for the truant youth as well as for the family, school, and community. Although several narrative reviews and one meta-analysis of attendance and truancy interventions have attempted to summarize the extant research, there are a number of limitations to these reviews. It is imperative that we systematically synthesize and examine the evidence base to provide a comprehensive picture of interventions that are being utilized to intervene with chronic truants, to identify interventions that are effective and ineffective, and to identify gaps and areas in which more research needs to be conducted to better inform practice and policy.