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School phobia and agoraphobia

  • Ian Berg (a1), Isaac Marks (a1), Ralph McGuire (a1) and Maurice Lipsedge (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 July 2009

The incidence of past school phobia was surveyed by questionnaire in 786 women under 60 years of age who were members of an agoraphobia correspondence club. Twenty-two per cent admitted to previous school phobia, a proportion similar to that found in 57 non-agoraphobic neurotic controls. Past school phobia predicted an earlier onset of subsequent agoraphobia and a more severe psychiatric state as far as symptoms not specifically agoraphobic were concerned. Adolescent agoraphobic difficulties were more associated with school phobia than with agoraphobia in adult life. It was concluded that school phobia leads to agoraphobia in only a small proportion of cases. Although school phobia may predispose to later agoraphobia, it seems more likely that both conditions reflect a lasting tendency to neurotic illness.

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Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
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