This study examines the association between school absenteeism, health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and happiness among young adults aged 16-26 years attending vocational education. Cross-sectional data from a survey among 676 young adults were analyzed. School absenteeism was measured by the self-reported number of sick days in the past eight weeks and hours of truancy in the past four weeks. HRQOL was measured by the 12-item Short Form Health Survey; physical and mental component summary scores were calculated. General happiness was assessed on a scale of 0-10, higher scores indicating greater happiness. Linear regression analyses were performed. The study population had a mean age of 18.5 years (SD 2.2); 26.1% were boys. Young adults with ≥5 sick days or ≥6 h of truancy reported lower mental HRQOL compared to young adults without sickness absence or truancy (p < 0.05). Young adults with 1-4 and ≥5 sick days reported lower physical HRQOL compared to young adults who had not reported to be sick (p < 0.05). Young adults with 1-5 h and ≥6 h of truancy reported higher physical HRQOL compared to young adults who were not truant (p < 0.05). No associations were observed between school absence and happiness. Lower self-reported mental HRQOL was observed among young adults with more school absenteeism due to sickness or truancy. Sickness absence was additionally associated with lower physical HRQOL.

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Keywords happiness, health-related quality of life, school absence, sickness absence, truancy, vocational education, young adults
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Journal International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
van den Toren, S.J. (Suzanne J.), van Grieken, A, Mulder, W.C. (Wico C.), Vanneste, Y.T. (Yvonne Tm), Lugtenberg, M, de Kroon, M.L.A, … Raat, H. (2019). School Absenteeism, Health-Related Quality of Life [HRQOL] and Happiness among Young Adults Aged 16-26 Years. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(18). doi:10.3390/ijerph16183321