This study attempts to offer insight into school-based strategies to prevent truancy by investigating the relationship between an authoritative school climate and truancy. We use data from PISA (2012) with fifteen-year-old pupils (N=2279) in secondary education in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, to answer three research questions: (1) Is there a relationship between authoritative school climate and truancy? (2) Is the effect between the authoritative school climate and truancy mediated by individual school bonding? (3) Does school bonding moderates the relationship between the authoritative school climate and truancy? In line with the authoritative school climate model, our results indicate that authoritative schools manage to prevent truancy, irrespective of a pupil’s personal background or the school composition. In addition, this study demonstrates that (a) the influence of authoritative socialisation at least partly runs through the enhancement of school bonding and (b) the link between school bonding and truancy is stronger in authoritative schools. In the discussion we elaborate on the implications of our findings.
Download: The school as a socialization context: Understanding the impact of school bonding and the authoritative school climate on truancy