Study on feelings of school avoidance, depression, and character tendencies among general junior high and high school students


address: Dr Shuji Honjo, Nagoya University Center for Developmental Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya-shi 464-8601, Japan.


School refusal is a phenomenon that first drew attention in Japan around 1960 and it remains one of the major issues in child psychiatry today. Moreover, it is now said that there exists a large group of latent school refusers currently attending school but harboring feelings of school avoidance. To address this issue, a questionnaire survey was conducted on students enrolled in a junior high and high school affiliated with the Nagoya University School of Education. The questionnaire consisted of the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI), a scale for evaluating feelings of school avoidance (School Avoidance Scale), and a scale for assessment of personality characteristics associated with school refusal (School Refusal Personality Scale). The subjects were 425 first-year junior high to second-year high school students. Factor analysis of each scale revealed the CDI to consist of three factors: ‘core depression’, ‘feelings of interpersonal maladaptation’, and ‘self-revulsion’, and the School Avoidance Scale to consist of two factors: ‘school dislike’, and ‘school avoidance’. The School Refusal Personality Scale consisted of three factors: ‘obsessive–compulsive’, ‘passive/unsocial’, and ‘socially introverted’. Mean CDI score and standard deviation (SD) was 19.44 ± 7.49, and that for ‘feelings of school avoidance’ was 20.18 ± 5.61. The two subordinate factors of the School Avoidance Scale were intimately associated with both ‘feelings of interpersonal maladaptation’ and ‘core depression’ of the CDI, and negatively correlated with the ‘obsessive–compulsive’ factor of the School Refusal Personality Scale.