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School Refusal Behavior: Children Who Can't or Won't Go To School

Author: George B. Haarman, Psy.D., LMFT
(Click author's name for bio)

Course Created: 2013

Practice Level: Intermediate

No book to buy Duration: 4 hours
4.8 out of 5.0, Based on: 12,067 reviews

Course Summary

School refusal is a problem which is stressful for children, for their families, and for school personnel. Failing to attend school has significant long-term and short-term effects on children’s social, emotional, and educational development. School refusal is often the result of, or associated with, comorbid disorders such as anxiety or depression. Careful assessment, treatment planning, interventions, and management of school refusal are critical to a successful return to school as quickly as possible. Interventions may include educational support, cognitive therapy, behavior modification, parent/teacher interventions, and pharmacotherapy. The book breaks down the distinction between truancy and school refusal, allows for a functional analysis of school refusal to determine the motivation and particular reinforcement systems which support the behavior. The latest intervention strategies are reviewed with a focus on tailoring and adapting standard approaches to specific situations. Case studies and sample intervention plans for cases of school refusal allow you to implement these strategies immediately.

Course Format

This course contains downloadable online lessons (PDF) and a practice test. When you're ready, purchase the course by clicking the "Add To Cart" button. This will let you take the test, complete the course evaluation and receive your certificate for CE credits.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the characteristics of school refusers
  • List underlying psychological and comorbid conditions
  • Compare diagnostic and assessment issues for school refusers
  • Apply techniques to intervene with children with school refusal issues
  • Implement strategies with parents and educators

Course Syllabus

  • Truancy versus School Refusal
  • Characteristics of School Refusers
  • The Functional Model of School Refusal
  • Underlying Psychological Disorders and Comorbid Conditions
  • Diagnostic and Assessment Issues
  • General Treatment Approaches and Treatment Planning
  • Techniques to Intervene with Children who Refuse School to Avoid Negative Affect Situations
  • Techniques to Intervene with Children who Refuse School to Escape Aversive Social and Evaluative Situations
  • Techniques to Intervene with Children who Refuse School for Attention Seeking
  • Techniques to Intervene with Children who Refuse School to Pursue Tangible Reinforcements
  • Practical Strategies for Educators and Parents
  • Bibliography and Case Studies


This organization, CE4Less, provider #1115, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association Of Social Work Boards (ASWB), through the Approved Continuing Education ACE) program. Ce4Less maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 8/8/2018-8/8/2021. Social workers should contact their regulatory board To determine course approval. Social workers participating In this course will receive continuing education clock hours.

We are committed to providing our learners with unbiased information. Ce4Less never accepts commercial support and our authors have no significant financial or other conflicts of interest pertaining to the material


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