School Refusal

Home Disorders School Refusal

What Is School Refusal?

School refusal is occurs when a child refuses to attend school and/or has difficulties remaining in classes during the school day. They may be completely absent from school, have fluctuating absences, or always be late for school. There are many reasons why children refuse school and sometimes there may be more than one reason. Younger children may avoid school because they are generally afraid of the school or afraid of specific things or objects in the school. Some adolescents may refuse school because they are afraid of being in social and/or evaluative situations at school. Some children refuse school because they want to get attention from their caregivers at home while other children may refuse school because they get tangible rewards from outside school (e.g., playing video games at home).

Twenty-eight percent of American school-aged youth refuse school at some time. It is most common among children aged 10-13 years, but also can peak at ages 5/6 and 14/15. It is equally common in boys and girls. It can be caused by an underlying anxiety disorder and/or reinforcement from the child’s environment for staying home from school.


Make an Appointment or a Referral

Please contact our Director of Intake Services at 212-595-9559 (ext.1) or 914-385-1150 (ext.1), or fill out the form above, with any questions regarding eligibility, for further information, or to make a referral. If you are a current patient at CBC, please speak to your individual therapist to see how this group may be of added benefit to you.