Separation Anxiety

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  • A part of a child's development whereby the child develops a stronger preference for the primary caregiver and becomes emotionally distressed when separated from that caregiver. While children of the age of 2 to 3 months do not seem to express a preference for any caregiver, when reaching 6 to 8 months, a child will develop a distinct preference for the primary caregiver, which is often the mother. In conjunction with this preference for the primary caregiver, the child also develops a stronger attachment to that person and thus becomes emotionally distressed when that person leaves the child. Separation anxiety increases until it peaks at approximately 14 to 18 months, after which it tends to decline. For more information, see American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and ...

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