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Jenni Alisaari & Elina Kilpi-Jakonen

Sense of belonging and truancy among children of immigrants

In this article, we investigate how immigrant generation, language spoken at home and country of origin are associated with sense of belonging to school and truancy, as well as how the sense of belonging explains truancy. We analysed Finnish PISA data from 2012, 2015 and 2018 (N=16,235) using regression analysis. Our results indicated that children of immigrants who spoke a language other than that of instruction at home had on average a weaker sense of belonging to school than (majority) students who spoke Finnish or Swedish. First generation immigrants, second generation students with other languages than that of instruction and 2.5 generation students who only spoke the language of instruction at home had a greater likelihood of truancy than other students. The older the students were when they moved to Finland, the weaker their sense of belonging on average and the greater their likelihood of extensive truancy. Sense of belonging was associated with truancy but did not explain the differences between groups.

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