Current Content
Volume 37 - Number 2
March-April 2011

High School Students with Asthma: Attitudes about School Health, Absenteeism, and Its Impact on Academic Achievement
Susan Krenitsky-Korn

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.