Violeta ENEA* & Ion DAFINOIU
Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Iaşi, Romania
The objective of this study was to assess the efficiency of a package of motivational stimulation techniques in reducing school truancy rates among adolescents. The program was carried out between March and June 2007 and it comprised 8 group counseling sessions per week, each session lasting one hour. The techniques used combined intrinsic motivational stimulation strategies, motivational interviewing and solution-focused counseling, with strategies focusing on extrinsic methods, such as successive approximation of behavior, behavior contracts and reinforcement techniques. Participants were adolescents, aged 16-17 years, divided into two groups, 19 students in the experimental group, and 19 in the control group. Our data indicated a 61% decrease in truancy rates for the experimental group, a significant difference compared to the control group, where no drops in truancy rates were observed. The results of this non-randomized pilot study suggest that group interventions such as the one described here can prove to be useful in reducing adolescent truancy, and deserve further investigation in controlled randomized studies.
Keywords: truancy, adolescent, motivational interview, solution-focused counseling