The clinical features of children and adolescents with school refusal

Bahali K. , Tahiroglu A. Y. , AVCI A.

ANADOLU PSIKIYATRI DERGISI-ANATOLIAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY, cilt.10, ss.310-317, 2009 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 10 Konu: 4
  • Basım Tarihi: 2009
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.310-317


Objective: To assess the clinical features of children with school refusal and discuss them in the light of the resources reviewed. Methods: Fifty-five children with school refusal have been included in the study. Firstly, we gave information about study and got informed consent. Detailed clinical interviews were made with child and parents. A sociodemographic information form and a Symptom Check List for Separation Anxiety Disorder were applied to the parents. Definitive statistics were employed in the evaluation of the data. Results: It was found that among children who presented with complaints of school refusal the number of boys was higher; the average age of children was 9.1 +/- 3.0; school refusal was more frequently seen in children who go through important transition periods such as starting primary school (5-7 years) and junior high school (10-11 years); most of the families had either one child or two children; school refusal was more frequently seen in the first child of the family; the most frequently seen psychiatric disorder was separation anxiety disorder; and the most frequently seen accompanying diagnosis in children with separation anxiety disorder was another anxiety disorder. Conclusions: School refusal should be considered as an important problem due to its effects that could be permanent in the social, emotional, and educational life of the affected individual. The early identification and treatment of the cases will inhibit the development of psychiatric disorders. Today there is still ongoing controversy regarding school refusal. Thus, in child and adolescent population, future studies are needed to determine the etiology, epidemiology, subtypes, diagnosis, clinical course, and treatment of school refusal. (Anatolian Journal of Psychiatry 2009; 10: 310-317)