Background and Purpose: Truancy is one of the top discipline problems in Malaysia and the national prevalence of truancy indicates a significant number of students are truant. Counselling at school aims at helping schoolchildren in personality development and discipline. This qualitative study aims to research the experiences of counselling on schoolchildren who were reported for truancy.


Methodology: The research participants involved ten schoolchildren who had played truant and were required to participate in counselling sessions. Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews, non-participant observations, and diary entries on two occasions for each participant. The data were analysed using thematic analysis to identify themes related to the participants’ experiences.


Findings: The findings showed that the reasons for truancy among the school children involve self and relationship with others. After being in sessions with school counsellors, the children reported being more responsible, which included behavioural, emotional and goal-based changes. The relationship with the school counsellor allowed them to experience belongingness, which supported them in choosing positive behaviour, emotions and goals, which is related to having a sense of responsibility.


Contributions: This paper argues that engaging in counselling with a school counsellor helped the schoolchildren to make responsible decisions about their behaviour, emotions and goals. The most important factor is the “relearning experience” in promoting responsibility among schoolchildren.

Keywords: Qualitative research, truancy, belongingness, school counselling, responsibility.


Cite as: Mat Min, R., Brahim, S. S., Mohd Yusoff, R. A., & Ramley, F. (2022). Truancy among school children: Reasons and counselling experiences.  Journal of Nusantara Studies, 7(1), 79-99.

Author Biographies

Ruhani Mat Min, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Development Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21300 Terengganu, Malaysia.

Ruhani Mat Min is a Professor of Counselling at the Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT).  Her research interest is focusing on developmental of human being, in relation to counselling experiences. This field of research requires detail understanding of self and relationship with others.  Individuals need others in understanding themselves contributing to positive feeling about themselves. 

Siti Sarah Brahim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Development Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21300 Terengganu, Malaysia.

Siti Sarah Brahim graduated with Master of Counselling at the Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT). Her research focuses on the experience of counselling session among the students and adolescents' issues. She was a lecturer at University College Bestari in 2016 to 2017.

Raba’Aton Adawiah Mohd Yusoff, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Development Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21300 Terengganu, Malaysia.

Raba’Aton Adawiah Mohd Yusof is a senior lecturer for a Counselling Programme at the Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT). Her research interest is focusing on family counselling related to the knowledge about cultural background in understanding experiences of human being. Knowing about interaction in the family will help to predict the future generation issues that may arise, which may help in enhancing the quality of family relationship.

Fazliyaton Ramley, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Development Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21300 Terengganu, Malaysia.

Fazliyaton Ramley is a lecturer for a Counselling Programme at the Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT). Her research interest is focusing on prosocial behaviour, through the dimension of individualistic and interdependent cultural orientation. Other research interests that she has navigated in for the past few years were the barriers/factors to academic achievement, social/emotional development, and career readiness among college/university students.


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How to Cite
Mat Min, R., Brahim, S. S., Mohd Yusoff, R. A., & Ramley, F. (2022). TRUANCY AMONG SCHOOL CHILDREN: REASONS AND COUNSELLING EXPERIENCES. Journal of Nusantara Studies (JONUS), 7(1), 79-99.