Monday, April 28, 2008

Separation Anxiety

We Define separation anxiety as, the distress that most children develop at about 6 to 8 months of age, when their primary caregivers temporarily leave them with others. But every child is different, so each will have a varying reaction and degree of anxiety. Mary Ainsworth created a study which is today entitled the "Strange Situation," to study the various reactions and degree's of the anxiety amoung children. Within her studies, the mother brings the baby to an unfamiliar oom with lots of toys, next a stranger comes and attempts to play with the child, next the mother leaves the baby with the stranger, the mother returns and plays with the child, and the stranger leaves. Finally the mother leaves the child alone for 3 minutes and then returns. The purspose of these studies it to observe how the baby behaves with the mother, with the stranger, and when the baby is alone. Ainsworth determined from her studies that there were various types of attachment. Among the most common was, "Securely Attached." Then a baby is securely attached, the cry when the mother leaves, but they welcome her back and play happily again when she returns. This past weekend I visited my family in Greenpoint, it was obvious that my 14 month olf cousin was displaying this "secure attachment," to her mother. When left alone with me for 1 minute, she began to extremely protest when her mother was no longer in sight, but she was happy once again when she returned. Ainsworth believed that this type of attachment was a result of an extremely giving parent, who is extremely sensative to their child's secure attachment. It is also believed that this could last until about ages 2 to 3 years old. It seems best that she might try to whine her so that she does not make this attachment as severe as it is already.

1 comment:

eric said...

Separation anxiety refers to a developmental stage during which the child experiences anxiety when separated from the primary care giver (usually the mother). It is normal between 8 months of age and may last until 14 months old.