Social Work Intervention
Social Work Intervention
School refusal is a “staid emotional issue that is connected with considerable short- and long-term consequences. (Finch, 2012) In the early 1940s the apprehension of going to school was actually termed as school phobia. School refusal, as an alternative term, was utilized especially in Great Britain and the United States to define similar issues in kids who essentially did not go to school because they were distressed emotionally. In general, children with school refusal differ in some ways from kids who are truant, even though the behaviors are not mutually exclusive. This paper will explore a group or family social work intervention for a school refusal issue. Nature of the disorder/problem
Anthony, a twelve year old male, has missed nearly two weeks of school since beginning of the seventh grade approximately three months prior. When home from school he spends most his time playing video games or just browsing the internet. In most cases when he goes to school, he is usually late, something that makes it hard for him to interact with his classmates before classes begin. In addition, in class he prefers sitting at the back and is never interested in raising his hand and also has problems working on any group projects. His teachers have identified his behaviors, especially of being absent and lacking enthusiasm for class work. His parents have punished him for performing poorly at school and have also started wondering if they should arrange home tutoring or actually change his school placement. In terms of prevalence, at some point, as much as twenty eight percent of school aged children in the United States refuse school during their schooling process. The behavior of school refusal is as common among boys as it is girls (Sturmey, 2008). While any child aged between five and seventeen may decline to attend school, a number of young people who refuse are between ten and thirteen years old. Furthermore, peaks in school refusal process are also seen in times of transition such as five and six, and fourteen and fifteen years as kids enter new schools. Even though the problem is significantly more prevalent in some major metropolitan areas, it is observed equally across socioeconomic levels. There are varying aspects of school refusal behaviors. Initial school refusal behavior just for a short period may actually resolve without any intervention. There is also substantial school refusal behavior which takes place for not less than two weeks. Thirdly, acute school refusal behavior entails cases lasting more than two weeks and even at times it goes to about one year, being a problem that is consistent for the greater part of that time. Lastly, chronic school refusal behavior affects or interferes with a least two or even more academic years. This is because it refers to cases that last more than one academic year. Young people who miss school due to chronic physical diseases, withdrawal from school which is actually motivated by societal or parental conditions like homelessness, or even running away in order to avoid mistreatment should not actually be incorporated in the above definition of school refusal activity as some of these factors are actually not child-initiated. “While some of the children who refuse school display a presentation that is more heterogeneous, typically some of these youths can actually be grouped into two key types of troublesome behavior – externalizing or internalizing challenges” (Mufson, 2004). In fact, the rifest internalizing challenges are generalized worrying, social isolation or anxiety, fatigue, physical complaints and depression (such as nausea, stomachaches, headaches and tremors). The most common externalizing challenges are tantrums (like screaming and crying), physical and verbal aggression, as well as oppositional behavior. Empirical Evidence
References: Finch, J. (2012). Specialty competencies in adolescent psychology and clinical child. New York: Oxford University Press.
Kearney, C. (2007). Functions and Forms of school refusal behavior in young people: an empirical study of the severity of absenteeism. Journal of Child Psychiatry and Psychology, 48 (1), pp 53–61.
Mufson, L. (2004). Interpersonal psychotherapy for depressed adolescents. New York: Guilford Press.
Sturmey, P. (2008). Behavioral case intervention an formulation: a functional analytic approach. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell,.
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