School phobia

J Sch Nurs. 2005 Jun;21(3):147-51. doi: 10.1177/10598405050210030401.


School phobia is a serious disorder affecting up to 5% of elementary and middle school children. Long-term consequences include academic failure, diminished peer relationships, parental conflict, and development of additional psychiatric disorders. Hiding behind such common physical symptoms as headaches, stomachaches, and fatigue, school phobia evades diagnosis with ease. Unraveling the problem of school phobia is challenging for the school nurse and is complicated by an overall lack of knowledge regarding the serious potential outcomes. The purpose of this article is to define school phobia, differentiate it from truancy, and highlight some interventions useful in the treatment of this increasingly common and potentially serious disorder.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Anxiety Disorders / nursing*
  • Anxiety, Separation / diagnosis
  • Anxiety, Separation / epidemiology
  • Anxiety, Separation / nursing*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior / psychology*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / epidemiology
  • Child Behavior Disorders / etiology
  • Child Behavior Disorders / nursing*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Humans
  • Phobic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Phobic Disorders / epidemiology
  • Phobic Disorders / nursing*
  • Psychology, Child
  • School Health Services / standards
  • School Nursing / standards*
  • United States / epidemiology