Coping with life by coping with school? School refusal in young people

Anthea Gulliford, Andy Miller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter we explore psychological explanations for what may be happening when a young person avoids attending school. Terms such as school phobia, school refusal, persistent and chronic non-attendance and truancy will be reviewed. The particular focus here is the form of school non-attendance known as school-refusal, sometimes called school phobia. Considering a range of theoretical formulations for school refusal behaviour will lead us to understand how these in turn influence interventions. The literature guides us to a particular focus upon the role of anxiety in school refusal behaviour, and in turn upon cognitive behavioural approaches that may help to remediate this. We shall acknowledge the significant influence of family and school contexts upon a young person refusing to attend school, and explore what this may imply for the practitioner. Above all, the individual and varying nature of the problem presentation for school refusal will be acknowledged. An example from educational psychology casework is presented to illustrate a multi-systemic approach to school-refusal based problems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducational Psychology
EditorsTony Cline, Anthea Gulliford, Susan Birch
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781315719962
ISBN (Print)9781848723306, 9781848723313
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2015

Publication series

NameTopics in Applied Psychology


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  • Educational Psychology

    Cline, T. (ed.), Gulliford, A. (ed.) & Birch, S. (ed.), 31 Mar 2015, 2nd ed. Routledge. 346 p. (Topics in Applied Psychology)

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

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