Frequent Absences of Children Tied Up With Mental Problems

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Children are considered vulnerable group which necessitates special type of care in order for them to adjust and learn everything that is happening around them. Education is one aspect that children must go into. This can be achieved by going into school every day and attend classes, however, there are certain children who have problems with going into school. This can now lead to frequent absences of these children which can halter the learning process which should take place inside the classroom or school. Some of the reasons of frequent absences of children include reasons like being afraid to be left alone in the school, not yet ready to face the challenges that going into school posts, or even other factors which actually affects the habit of these children of going into school.

In fact, recently, according to a new longitudinal study, one of the main reasons why children usually are having frequent absences from their classes is due to mental problems which are often misdiagnosed or undiagnosed.

The new study which was published in the journal Child Development involved the analysis and examination of data gathered from about more than 17,000 children. The study has used the three datasets. These include: the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health Study, the Johns Hopkins Prevention Intervention Research Center Study, and the Linking the Interests of Families and Teachers trial. All of these are longitudinal study which looked into the analysis of school children. In addition, the researchers collected data regarding the school attendances of these students and allowed the students, parents and teachers to answer certain questions from a questionnaire. The researchers also conducted interviews every year or biennially to the students and the parents.

Upon the analysis of data, the researchers found out that those students who belong to grades 2 and 8 and were already having clinical manifestations of certain mental health problems had more recorded absences over the curse of one year as compared to other students who are not experiencing any mental health symptoms. Also, those students who belong to the high school grades and have many recorded absences were manifesting symptoms of depression or antisocial behavior.

Moreover, according to lead author, Jeffrey Wood, associate professor of educational psychology and psychiatry at UCLA, he said: “School personnel in middle schools and high schools could benefit from knowing that mental health issues and school absenteeism each influence the other over time. Helping students address mental health issues may in turn help prevent the emergence of chronic absenteeism. At the same time, working to help students who are developing a pattern of chronic absenteeism come to school more consistently may help prevent psychiatric problems.”





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