Academic Problems

School constitutes a large part of an adolescent’s existence. Difficulties in almost any area of life often manifest as school problems.

Particular school problems include

  • Fear of going to school
  • Absenteeism without permission (truancy)
  • Dropping out
  • Academic underachievement

Between 1% and 5% of adolescents develop fear of going to school. This fear may be generalized or related to a particular person or event at school (such as physical education class). The adolescent may develop physical symptoms, such as abdominal pain, or may simply refuse to go to school. School personnel and family members should identify the reason, if any, for the fear and encourage the adolescent to attend school.


School problems during the adolescent years may result from a combination of

  • Rebellion and a need for independence (most common)
  • Mental health disorders, such as anxiety or depression
  • Substance use (drugs or alcohol)
  • Family conflict
  • Learning disorders
  • Behavior disorders