Interventions for Negatively Reinforced School Refusal Behavior

Christopher A. Kearney

in Helping School Refusing Children and Their Parents

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print February 2018 | ISBN: 9780190662059
Published online March 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780190662080 | DOI:
Interventions for Negatively Reinforced School Refusal Behavior

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This chapter covers intervention strategies for children with considerable anxiety about attending school, or refusing school for negative reinforcement. These strategies focus on the key response components of anxiety, including physical, cognitive, and behavioral aspects. Interventions for the physical aspect of anxiety include somatic management techniques such as muscle relaxation training and breathing retraining. Interventions for the cognitive aspect of anxiety include cognitive restructuring techniques that focus on developing more realistic thoughts and challenging negative thoughts. Interventions for the behavioral aspect of anxiety include different ways of gradually reintegrating a child into school, or exposure-based practices. These recommendations are specifically tailored to developmental levels and include those circumstances most characteristic of children with anxiety-based school refusal behavior, such as difficulty with a new school or teacher, increased academic work, transitions between areas of the school, and the school bus, to name a few.

Keywords: negative reinforcement; anxiety; somatic management; exposure-based practice; cognitive restructuring

Chapter.  8749 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology

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