MA Community Psychology Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Community Psychology, MA



First Advisor

Bryant Carlson


Attendance and Restorative Practices examines the attendance and discipline policies of Portland Public Schools (PPS) as a means to understand the discipline gap. The lead investigator is a former PPS employee that worked directly with chronically absent and truant students. The hypothesis of the study is that there is a link between students with high incidents of school exclusions and those who have chronic attendance issues. The School Refusal Assessment Scale by Kearney (2002) is used to evaluate the function school refusal has for individual students, and in this study aggregated as a whole for three targeted middle schools within PPS. The survey participant numbers were hampered by the lack of parental consent; however, interesting deductions are made based on observations and school climate information. Overall, there was not a positive correlation between school refusal functions (1) avoidance, (2) escapism, (3) attention seeking and (4) tangible rewards with the three schools. Four one way ANOVAs were performed to compare student responses on the SRAS-R functions of school refusal behavior in schools A, B and C. None of these ANOVAs reached statistical significance at the p < .05 level. Ultimately, a plan for prevention and intervention is recommended using restorative practices derived from the Restorative Justice movement.