Dr. Christopher Kearney is one of this country’s leading researchers and experts on school refusal. As Dr. Kearney explains, "school refusal" covers a variety of types of problematic absenteeism including truancy, school phobia, and separation anxiety. School refusal is on a continuum or spectrum of behaviors that also includes the child resisting going to school in the morning by begging or pleading with parents or having tantrums or meltdowns in the morning, experiencing distress while in school and/or making frequent visits to the school nurse, cutting classes, and frequently arriving late for school. It is helpful for parents to keep in mind that although the term "refusal" is used, the child’s refusal may not be a defiant behavior, but rather one driven by fear, anxiety, or some other cause.
In an article he wrote that appeared in American Family Physician in 2006, Dr. Kearney provides useful information about the problem, as well as screening tools that school psychologists, physicians, and parents will find helpful. He also provides a summary of the research showing the relationship between different psychiatric disorders and school refusal. Table 2 in the article reports the findings:
Rick Nauert PhD reports on some new, and thought-provoking research:
New research suggests there is a subset of socially anxious people who act out in aggressive, risky ways — and that their behavior patterns are often misunderstood.
Typically, individuals with social anxiety are characterized as shy, inhibited and submissive.
However, new research from psychologists Todd Kashdan and Patrick McKnight at George Mason University suggests a unique group of socially anxious people.
The researchers found evidence that a subset of adults diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder were prone to behaviors such as violence, substance abuse, unprotected sex and other risk-prone actions.
Read his article on PsychCentral.com.