Explaining the link between immigration and adolescent truancy
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Both international and national studies show that adolescents with a migration background are more often truant than adolescents without a migration background. This cross-sectional study investigated the phenomena that can explain the link between migration background and truancy by exploring how perceived discrimination and social support mediate this association. Furthermore, we investigated if the impact of immigration varies for boys and girls. Data from the Health Behavior in School-aged Children study (HBSC, 2017) was used. 6,718 adolescents from secondary education participated in the study (Mage = 13.8, SD = 1.4). Logistic Regression Analyses revealed that immigrant adolescents reported higher levels of truancy than non-immigrant adolescents after controlling for age and education level. Our findings indicate that the higher levels of perceived discrimination and slightly lower levels of teacher support could explain the impact of migration on immigrant adolescents' truancy compared to those of non-immigrant adolescents. No relationship was found between classmates’ support and truancy. Furthermore, our results found an effect of immigration on truancy for immigrant girls. The current findings highlight the importance of interventions aimed at reducing perceived discrimination among adolescents with a migration background and the need for social support from teachers to reduce truancy among adolescents with a migration background.