Separation and Stranger Anxiety

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In the second half of the first year, infants show signs of distress when approached by an unfamiliar person and when their primary caregiver leaves. The study of these phenomena underscores the link between advances in the child's ability to mentally represent people and events, along with changes in the emotional tie to the caregiver. Separation anxiety is an important psychological construct within a number of emotional development theories. While the reaction is normative, some children develop a separation anxiety disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Infant and Early Childhood Development
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9780123708779
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2008

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • 8-Month anxiety
  • Attachment
  • Developmental milestone
  • Fear of strangers
  • Infant distress
  • Person permanence
  • Separation anxiety
  • Separation-individuation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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