Many children and teenagers refuse to attend school or have anxiety-related difficulties remaining in classes for an entire day. School refusal behavior can contribute to a child's academic, social, and psychological problems, impact a child's chances for future educational, financial, and personal success, and significantly affect family functioning. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been shown to be a highly effective treatment for youth who exhibit this behavior.
This Therapist Guide outlines four treatment protocols based on CBT principles that can be used to effectively address the main types of school refusal behavior. The Guide concentrates on four primary reasons why children typically refuse school to relieve school-related distress, to avoid negative social or evaluative situations at school, to receive attention from a parent or a significant other, and to obtain tangible rewards outside of school.
This manual includes tools for assessing a child's reasons for school refusal behavior and is based on a functional, prescriptive model. It presents well-tested techniques arranged by function to tailor treatment to a child's particular characteristics. Each treatment package also contains a detailed discussion of special topics pertinent to treating youths with school refusal behavior, such as medication, panic attacks, and being teased. A corresponding workbook is also available for parents, who often play an important part in a child's recovery. This comprehensive program is an invaluable resource for clinicians treating school refusal behavior.
About the Authors:
Christopher A. Kearney is at University of Nevada. Anne Marie Albano is at Columbia University.