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Factors Associated with Dropping out of School

Factors Associated with Dropping out of School

Over the past years, leaving school before completing studies has been a huge problem. Dropping out can be described as a process of quitting school, including events that occur over time when students go to school and slowly lose interest in learning (Ballantine et al., 2022). Several factors may lead to dropping out of school and are majorly categorized into push and pull factors. Push factors are those that make students want to leave and force students out of school, while pull factors are those that attract them away from school.

One major factor that affects school dropout is mental health, which is a push factor. Mental struggles such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, paranoia, and more can make it difficult for a student to fully concentrate in school. Mental health is about how we think, feel, and cope with things happening in our lives. Sometimes, students might go through tough times that make them feel sad, stressed, or anxious. The student may end up performing poorly and, as a result, drop out eventually. (Hjorth et al., 2016). Schools can help deal with mental health problems by providing professional guidance and counseling services to students as well as hiring psychologists. Schools can also ensure that students are in a conducive and comfortable environment, create awareness of mental health, and guide students on how to deal with such problems. By doing this, students will develop coping strategies and emotional regulation skills crucial for navigating academic challenges and life’s ups and downs.

Another common dropout factor amongst students is family factors, which can be categorized as both push and pull factors. A common push family factor that affects a student and potentially leads to dropping out of school is financial difficulties within the family. When a family faces financial difficulties, a student, if of age, may feel entitled to contribute to the household by getting part-time or full-time jobs to help support the family, which may end up affecting their performance and causing too much fatigue due to the overwhelming responsibilities. Another factor is a lack of emotional support from families, which leads to stress. As a result, such family factors may contribute to student dropouts. Schools can help address these issues by providing scholarships and financial aid to students as well as organizing family events to help strengthen family bonds.

As a pulling factor, family relations can lead to dropouts, and this can happen when the family hasn’t had many people go to school or if they don’t think school is very important. When there aren’t people in the family who have done well in school, it can make students think that school doesn’t matter. They might not see a reason to keep going to school because nobody they look up to has done it before. To help with this situation, schools can make learning more exciting and practical. They can do this by having projects that relate to the real world, like things students might actually do in a job. They can also let students do things with their hands and give them choices in what they want to learn. When students see how what they learn can be useful in their lives and jobs, it can make them more interested in school again.

Lastly, a pull factor for dropping out of school is the lack of relevance and interest. Some students may not see the meaning or relevance of studying. Some students leave school if they find their classes not interesting or useful. Students may begin questioning the importance of attending school if they feel that their studies or learning does not connect with what they like or want to do in the real world. Also, when students don’t feel like they have a say in what they learn or how they learn it, they can become disinterested. As a result, such students are more likely to consider leaving school before they complete their studies. Notably, individuals want to study things that motivate them rather than things they are forced to study and have no interest in. Schools can sort this by involving students in decisions about their learning, which can enhance their sense of ownership and engagement. Allowing students to choose certain projects, explore their interests, and connect classroom learning with real-life scenarios can increase students’ investment in their education.

In conclusion, dropping out of school is caused by different factors. Some students can be pulled to drop out, while others can be pushed out depending on the situation. Still, it is important for not only schools but also families and individuals to come up with solutions to reduce the rate of dropouts. Notably, ensuring a conducive and comfortable environment for learning, educating students about how to combat stress and challenging issues, providing students with scholarships and financial aid, organizing family events to strengthen family bonds, and engaging students in decisions about their learning are some of the effective ways to reduce the rate of dropouts.


Ballantine, J. H., Stuber, J. M., & Everitt, J. G. (2022). The sociology of education: A systematic analysis. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

Hjorth, C. F., Bilgrav, L., Frandsen, L. S., Overgaard, C., Torp-Pedersen, C., Nielsen, B., & Bøggild, H. (2016). Mental health and school dropout across educational levels and genders: A 4.8-year follow-up study. BMC Public Health, 16(1).


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Factors associated with dropping out of school are often classified as push factors and pull factors.

Factors Associated with Dropping out of School

Factors Associated with Dropping out of School

Examine three factors associated with dropping out and what schools can do to address them

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