Interpersonal problem-solving skills, sensation-seeking, and classroom behavioral adjustment in truant adolescents

Michele DuBron Katz, Fordham University


In an effort to gain a clearer understanding of the problem of truancy, this study investigated the interpersonal problem solving, sensation seeking and behavioral adjustment of 49 truant and 40 non-truant students in a middle class suburb of New York City. Three measures of interpersonal cognitive problem solving ability (i.e., Means-Ends Problem Solving, Awareness of Consequences, Optional Thinking Test) and a sensation seeking measure (Sensation Seeking Scale) were administered to each subject. Demographic information and an intelligence factor were gathered from interviews and school records. In addition, teachers rated each subject's classroom behavioral adjustment on the Behavior Evaluation Scale. Results indicated that truant subjects had significantly lower means-end thinking scores (p $<$.0001), lower behavioral adjustment scores (p $<$.0001), and were more likely to come from non-intact families than comparison non-truants. No significant differences were found between the groups on sensation seeking. A significant relationship was found between truant students and parental high school dropouts. The implication of these results is that cognitive processes and environmental factors may mediate truant behavior which suggests the need for further research on interpersonal problem solving training and continued research on the truants and their families.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Academic guidance counseling

Recommended Citation

Katz, Michele DuBron, "Interpersonal problem-solving skills, sensation-seeking, and classroom behavioral adjustment in truant adolescents" (1990). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9109233.