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ERIC Number: ED562325
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Reference Count: 26
Psychosocial Interventions for School Refusal Behavior with Primary and Secondary School Students: A Campbell Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Maynard, Brandy R.; Brendel, Kristen E.; Bulanda, Jeffery J; Thompson, Aaron M.; Pigott, Terri D.
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
School refusal behavior, affecting between 1% and 5% of school-age children, is a psychosocial problem for students characterized by severe emotional distress and anxiety at the prospect of going to school, leading to difficulties in attending school and, in some cases, significant absences from school (Burke & Silverman, 1987; Elliot, 1999; King, Ollendick, & Tonge, 1995; King, Tonge, Heyne, Pritchard, Rollings, Young, et al., 1998; Heyne, King, Tonge, & Cooper, 2001; Kahn, Nursten, & Carroll, 1981). Children who present with school refusal may meet criteria for multiple internalizing and externalizing behavior problems, including anxiety, depression, phobia, separation anxiety, aggression, temper tantrums, and non-compliance (Egger, Costello, & Angold, 2003; Heyne et al., 2001; Kearney, 2001). Children and parents experience significant adverse consequences from school refusal. A child may miss an excessive number of days of school, leading to poor academic performance and disruptions in social and extracurricular activities (King & Bernstein, 2001). School refusal may also negatively affect family and peer relationships (Berg & Nursten, 1996). Long-term problems in social adjustment may also occur, including psychiatric disturbance (Heyne et al., 2001). The purpose of this review was to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions designed to increase school attendance and decrease anxiety for students who exhibit school refusal behavior. The following research questions guided this study: (1) Do interventions targeting school refusal behavior improve attendance?; and (2) Do interventions targeting school refusal behavior decrease anxiety? The present review found relatively few rigorous studies of interventions for school refusal behavior. All studies that did meet inclusion criteria assessed effects of a variant of cognitive behavioral therapy, thus there appears to be a lack of rigorous evidence of other types of interventions for school refusal behavior. Tables and figures are appended.
Descriptors: Elementary School Students, Secondary School Students, Student Behavior, Behavior Problems, Intervention, Meta Analysis, Attendance, Anxiety, Program Effectiveness, Educational Research, Effect Size, Behavior Modification, Cognitive Restructuring, Literature Reviews
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Publication Type: Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: Elementary Education; Secondary Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)