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J Adolesc. 2017 Dec;61:64-76. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2017.09.007. Epub 2017 Sep 29.

Correlates of school dropout and absenteeism among adolescent girls from marginalized community in north Karnataka, south India.

Author information

1
Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT), IT Park, Rajajinagar Industrial Area, Rajajinagar, Bangalore 560044, India. Electronic address: ravi.prakash@khpt.org.
2
Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), London, 15-17 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SN, UK. Electronic address: tara.beattie@lshtm.ac.uk.
3
Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT), IT Park, Rajajinagar Industrial Area, Rajajinagar, Bangalore 560044, India. Electronic address: prakashj@khpt.org.
4
Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT), IT Park, Rajajinagar Industrial Area, Rajajinagar, Bangalore 560044, India; Center for Global Public Health, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2N2, Canada. Electronic address: bhattacharjee.parinita@gmail.com.
5
Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT), IT Park, Rajajinagar Industrial Area, Rajajinagar, Bangalore 560044, India. Electronic address: satya@khpt.org.
6
Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT), IT Park, Rajajinagar Industrial Area, Rajajinagar, Bangalore 560044, India. Electronic address: raghavt@khpt.org.
7
Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT), IT Park, Rajajinagar Industrial Area, Rajajinagar, Bangalore 560044, India. Electronic address: srikanta.murthy@khpt.org.
8
Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), London, 15-17 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SN, UK. Electronic address: calum.davey@lshtm.ac.uk.
9
Center for Global Public Health, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2N2, Canada. Electronic address: James_Blanchard@umanitoba.ca.
10
Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), London, 15-17 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SN, UK. Electronic address: Charlotte.Watts@lshtm.ac.uk.
11
Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), London, 15-17 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SN, UK. Electronic address: martine.collumbien@lshtm.ac.uk.
12
Center for Global Public Health, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2N2, Canada. Electronic address: smoses@cc.umanitoba.ca.
13
Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), London, 15-17 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SN, UK. Electronic address: Lori.Hesie@lshtm.ac.uk.
14
Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT), IT Park, Rajajinagar Industrial Area, Rajajinagar, Bangalore 560044, India; Center for Global Public Health, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2N2, Canada. Electronic address: shajyisac@khpt.org.

Abstract

Secondary education among lower caste adolescent girls living in rural Karnataka, South India, is characterized by high rates of school drop-out and absenteeism. A cross-sectional baseline survey (N=2275) was conducted in 2014 as part of a cluster-randomized control trial among adolescent girls (13-14 year) and their families from marginalized communities in two districts of north Karnataka. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression models were used. Overall, 8.7% girls reported secondary school dropout and 8.1% reported frequent absenteeism (past month). In adjusted analyses, economic factors (household poverty; girls' work-related migration), social norms and practices (child marriage; value of girls' education), and school-related factors (poor learning environment and bullying/harassment at school) were associated with an increased odds of school dropout and absenteeism. Interventions aiming to increase secondary school retention among marginalized girls may require a multi-level approach, with synergistic components that address social, structural and economic determinants of school absenteeism and dropout.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescent girls; Frequent absenteeism; India; Marginalized communities; School dropout

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