Shilvock, Gemma Grace (2010)
Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
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This volume includes a critical literature review (Part 1) and a small scale empirical study (Part 2) on the topic of ‘emotionally-based non-attendance’ at school. Part one of the volume critically reviews the existing research on ‘school refusal’, in terms of conceptualisation, prevalence, and associated risk and protective factors. This review argues that there is a significantly limited amount of research into the school factors associated with school refusal, and the voice of the child has been insufficiently represented. Overall, there appears to be a bias towards clinical and adult discourses in the school refusal research. Part two of this volume presents an empirical study which investigated the factors associated with emotionally-based non-attendance at school from young people’s perspective. The subjective views and lived experiences of three girls with emotionally-based non-attendance were elicited, using techniques derived from personal construct psychology (Kelly, 1955). These girls were from a non-clinical sample, and were identified as ‘at risk’ of developing more severe and persistent forms of emotionally-based non-attendance in the future. The results are discussed in terms of the ‘young carer role’, ‘ambivalence’, ‘returning to school’ and ‘school factors’. Several implications for practice are drawn from the study.
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