In Sync: Inclusive school communities supporting students with anxiety

Article


Carter, Susan, Andersen, Cecily and Abawi, Lindy-Anne. 2023. "In Sync: Inclusive school communities supporting students with anxiety." Heliyon. 9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e16447
Article Title

In Sync: Inclusive school communities supporting students with anxiety

ERA Journal ID212685
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsCarter, Susan, Andersen, Cecily and Abawi, Lindy-Anne
Journal TitleHeliyon
Journal Citation9
Article NumberE16447
Number of Pages15
Year2023
PublisherElsevier
Place of PublicationNetherlands
ISSN2405-8440
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e16447
Web Address (URL)https://www.cell.com/heliyon/fulltext/S2405-8440(23)03654-X
Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the experiences of educators (working in inclusive schools) supporting students with anxiety and anxiety-related disorders.
Method
A qualitative refractive phenomenological case study was used to collect data from 44 participants (educators in various roles) in six Australian primary and secondary schools, which previous research identified as using inclusive practices to support a diverse range of students.
Results
Educators shared that they supported what they saw as learning needs using intrinsic, intuitive, and inclusive (3I's) ways of working. Interestingly, all educators reported that students felt supported despite a lack of explicit strategies focused on reducing anxiety. The 3I's were a way of working educators used to support all students, even though they experienced difficulties in recognising anxiety as behaviours were often internalised. This was particularly the case where disability and anxiety disorders co-occurred. Furthermore, educators did not identify evidence to support any one type of intervention being effective in mitigating anxiety.
Conclusions
The data suggests that there is a culture of inclusion reducing student anxiety, even though teachers and support staff may not have recognise the student's anxiety. Parents were mostly the first identifier of anxiety in their child. This research highlights the need for educators to engage in professional development around recognising anxiety and, secondly, in the implementation of specific strategies to support students with anxiety or anxiety-related disorders.

KeywordsStudent anxiety ; Inclusive school community; Students with anxiety-related disorders
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390412. Teacher and student wellbeing
Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Southern Queensland
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