School refusal: A case study


Rennie, Robert W.. (2003). School refusal: A case study [Thesis].
AuthorsRennie, Robert W.
Qualification nameMaster of Education (Research) (MEd(Res))

According to the literature school refusal is a complex disorder. Whilst the condition only occurs in 2% of the general school population, more interestingly the problem accounts for about 8% of clinically referred children (Burke & Silverman, 1987). This study focuses on the school refusal of a young adolescent male. This thesis has examined the degree to which school refusal can be minimised through employing a whole school approach underpinned by effective pastoral care (WSNPC intervention program). The research questions were as follows: To investigate the effects the WSNPC intervention program has on the: minimisation of school refusal; replacement of the mother/figurehead in the mother-child relationship relative to separation anxiety; and improved emotional, social and intellectual wellbeing of the school refuser. The methodology adopted for the study of school refusal regarding a young adolescent male was based on a grounded theory approach and also included a combination of action research and case study methods. Qualitative paradigms measured the degree of the participant's school refusal. A variety of instruments were employed to measure the participant's perceptions of school refusal. The implementation of multiple strategies were based upon data collected and evaluated, both as a result of intentional efforts, or as an unintentional by-product of the study with the expressed aim of maximising the participant's school attendance. The evidence presented in this study indicates the strategies employed via the WSA/PC intervention program were helpful in improving the participant's attendance at school. The results give an insight into the level of comprehension for the sample of school refusal and its response in terms of understanding the reasons for such thinking. The limitations of single case methodology are acknowledged in the study and suggestions for further research discussed.

PublisherAustralian Catholic University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Final version
Publication dates01 Jul 2003
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