Self or Others: Exploring the Role of Truancy as the link between Personality Traits and Peer Influences found in Truant Students

Muhammad Aqeel, Tanvir Akhtar


Current research aims to investigate the role truancy plays between personality characteristics of a adolescent and the kind of peers they affiliate with, it adds to existing knowledge by evaluating the extent to which a truant life style lures the right personality to seek peers that can help initiate and/or maintain it (Allen, Chango, Szwedo, Schad, & Marston, 2012; Oetting & Beauvais, 1987). Most previous research has ignored the glamour and adrenaline- inciting quality that a life of truancy holds for the youngsters. Specifically the study investigated whether a clear meditational pathway can be traced between personality traits and peer influence and truancy. This study utilized contrasting groups (that of truant and punctual students) to study the mediation. Personality traits were characterized by Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ; Naqvi, 2007) which measures personality in terms of extraversion, introversion, lie, neuroticism, and psychoticism. This research concentrated on general, interpersonal relations with peers and the specific interpersonal incitation for drug use. Previous research considers truancy as the cause of criminal activities and antisocial lifestyles. Therefore exposure to ill-treatment, abuse and exploitation by adults and institutions in the civil government are blamed for exposing vulnerable children to a life of crime or delinquency. On the contrary, the current research is an attempt to investigate if the children themselves set out to a world of opportunity, free of monotony and chances of finding a breakthrough to better financial conditions or a secret for personal growth. In that the current research sees, truancy as a life choice, or a life choice that causes certain personality types to seek order and experienced peers who can aid their chances of getting involved and doing something exciting; the research is centred around the assumption that when majority of a country’s population live near the poverty line, chances of truancy and related activities may be a choice rather than a chance factor. Employing purposive sample of 200 boys, the study found that the truant students were more predisposed towards the extrovert-introvert traits of personality than punctual students. It was also found that peer influences are influenced by extrovert-introvert traits of personality. Results revealed that truancy (truant & punctual students) is partial mediator between extrovert-introvert of personality traits and subscale of peer Influence. Recommendations of the study are that both truant and punctual can equally be benefitted by an intervention addressing peer influence however, truant students can get more benefit by addressing personality traits. This study would be helpful for pedagogical and clinical setting for truant school students. It also gives education policy makers food for thought to introduce activities in educational institutions for reduction of truancy.


Peer Influence; Personality Traits; Truancy; Punctuality

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