Shyness and school phobia among school going children
Maria Maqboo, Rumisa Jan
Childhood is the age span ranging from two years to adolescence. The term childhood is non- specific in its time span and can imply a varying range of years in human development. There are broad three stages of childhood which includes early childhood, late childhood and adolescence. Starting primary school is an important, but potentially stressful time in a child’s development. How well a child is prepared for the demands of school life can have implications for their overall adjustment to school. Shyness is the tendency to feel awkward, worried or tense during social encounters, especially with unfamiliar people. School for shy children is particularly more stressful than non- shy children and has a major effect on internalising behaviours. School phobia is simply defined as anxiety and fear associated with going to school. School refusal usually develops after a child has been home from school for an illness or vacation and other stressful family events such as divorce, parental illness, injury or death of a loved one. The main cause behind school phobia among children was separation anxiety from parents especially from mother, being bullied, severe teacher criticism and teasing. It was found that shyness is associated with low peer popularity which in turn, is related to lower school liking. It was also found that shyness affects childrens peer relations, including increased difficulty making friends and tendency to be ignored, excluded and bullied by peers. So school phobia and shyness is the main concern for parents and teachers and there is a need for providing guidance and counselling to school children to protect them from developing psychological effects of bullying.