Separation Anxiety Disorder
Early childhood development includes several fairly predictable phases, one of which is separation anxiety. This typically occurs between eight months and two years of age, and the primary feature is that the infant shows signs of anxiety when separated from his or her main caregiver.
At around eight months old, infants begin to gain some idea of what the world is like. They become familiar with their normal home environment, and learn the difference between home and other places. They recognize their main caregivers as being familiar, safe, and comforting.
With the link between home and safety firmly established, infants begin to show signs of anxiety or fright when in unfamiliar places, or when separated from their caregivers.
As the infant grows, he or she begins to understand that separation from home and caregivers is only temporary, and that these familiar people and situations will return. By two years of age, signs of separation anxiety usually begin to cease, providing that the child feels safe in his or her home environment, can trust that caregivers will return when they are gone, and has also been able to form trusting relationships with other people.