Medicine: School Phobia

There is a little of the truant in every healthy child. But the openly defiant youngster who simply refuses to go to school may be suffering from what doctors call "school phobia"—a deep-rooted psychological disturbance.

School phobia, reports the British Medical Journal, is actually a form of separation anxiety: the rebellious child's real trouble is not fear of school but fear of separation from his parents. The affected child, says the B.M.J., "is usually above the average in intelligence, but tends to be timid, sensitive, spoiled, and to show other fears and fear reactions, such as night terrors. The mothers tend to...

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