Murray, B. (1997, September). School phobias hold many children back. APA Monitor.

Essay by kane_60166College, UndergraduateA+, March 2002

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School phobia, known to most psychologists as school refusal, effects between 5 and 10 percent of school children in the United States. One percent of these children will be severely affected by school phobia, leading to excessive school absenteeism. School phobia is defined as anxiety and fear related to being in school. Some children simply refuse to go, complaining of stomachaches, headaches, or nausea.

According to the article, this can have severe repercussions on children later in life. It can lead to such things as alcohol abuse, criminal behavior, underemployment, and marital difficulties. These children are likely concerned with their performance at school activities. They dread the rejoining of their peers in both academic and athletic settings.

This generalized anxiety of performance in anything from a P.E. softball game to a science quiz can often be corrected by a team effort including teachers, parents, and psychologists. But, for the younger children just beginning school, separation anxiety can be a serious issue.

They tend to cling to their parents, worrying that they will never see them again for a variety of reasons. These children often worry themselves truly sick, to the point of upset stomach due to nervousness. The children that fall into this category are likely those who stayed at home with a parent on a daily basis before attending school. To treat this anxiety, psychologists often use desensitization, a method of slowly detaching the child from the parent(s).

Other reasons for school phobia are those most all of us can relate to such as simple social phobias. The fear of how others might perceive you, especially your peers, is of utmost importance to school age children. At the age of 11 or 12, children begin to tease and pick at each other. Both physical and mental ability is at...