|High School Students with Asthma: Attitudes about School Health,
Absenteeism, and Its Impact on Academic Achievement
Asthma is the most frequent reason for absence from school; it accounts for onethird
of all days of missed instruction, placing students at risk for academic failure
and social isolation. This study compared high school students with asthma
with those without asthma, and examined the relationship of their attitudes
toward school health services, absenteeism, academic achievement, and the
supposition that school nurse services play an essential part in the academic
process. Surveys were completed by all students who participated in the study.
Twenty-eight students with asthma reported levels of illness and school nurse
support in an additional survey. Data revealed that students with asthma were
absent more frequently, scored lower in mathematics, and participated less in
school activities than their peers without asthma. Their level of illness did not predict
the number of days absent, which was negatively correlated with achievement
and positively correlated with students' permissive attitudes toward absenteeism.
Findings indicate that school nurse interventions were sources of physical,
social, emotional, and academic support.