School Refusal (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
School Refusal Causes
Although young children usually find going to school fun and exciting, one in four children may occasionally refuse to attend school. Such behavior becomes a routine problem in about 2% of children. Many children with school refusal have an earlier history of separation anxiety, social anxiety, or depression. Undiagnosed learning disabilities or reading disorders may also play a significant role in the development of school refusal.
Signs of a psychiatric disorder called separation anxiety disorder can include the following:
These behaviors must begin before the child is aged 18 years, must last for four weeks or longer, and must cause serious problems with academic, social, or other functioning in order to be called a disorder.
Some commonly cited reasons for refusal to attend school include the following:
Other problems at school that can cause school refusal include feeling lost (especially in a new school), not having friends, or not getting along with a teacher or classmates.
Bettina E Bernstein, DO
Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), separation anxiety is a fairly common anxiety disorder that consists of excessive anxiety beyond that expected for the child's developmental level related to separation or impending separation from the attachment figure (eg, primary caretaker, close family member) occurring in children younger than 18 years and lasting for at least 4 weeks.