Date of Award

Spring 4-1-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Counselor Education

First Advisor

Rafael Outland


Chronic absenteeism within a school setting is defined as missing 10 percent or more of a school year. Additionally, school attendance is often correlated with academic success. This research study aimed to address the effect of positive reinforcement on school absenteeism and raw GPA percentages in chronically absent middle school students. Chronically absent students met weekly with the researcher during a 5 week period to receive the agreed upon positive reinforcement strategy. Students received a motivator only if he or she did not miss any school during that week. Absenteeism rates and raw GPA percentages were recorded at the start and completion of the study, and were compared to determine the effectiveness of positive reinforcement on improving absenteeism and GPA rates. Final results suggested that the positive reinforcement intervention decreased absenteeism rates by 2.37% overall, and increased overall raw GPA percentages by 2.13%. Additionally, raw GPA percentages were suggested to have a direct, inverse correlation with absenteeism rates.