Separation Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents

Dr. Beth Grosshans, author of the parenting book Beyond Time-Out: From Chaos to Calm, has 25 years of experience as a clinical child psychologist. Over the course of her career, Dr. Beth Grosshans has worked as an instructor in the field of child development and also as a private consultant focused on young patients with development issues. Among the issues that affect children, anxiety disorders are the most prevalent.

In children between the ages of 18 and 36 months, separation anxiety results from the absence of a parental figure within a child’s line of vision. When the absence of a parent or the removal of a child from familiar surroundings incites excessive worry or episodes of distress in children past preschool age, the child may be suffering from separation anxiety disorder. This may also manifest itself in adolescents.

Children and adolescents who experience separation anxiety disorder are prone to feelings of irrational fear, insecurity, misery, and homesickness when separated from loved ones. In instances where these fears affect a child’s willingness to go to school or socialize, it may be beneficial to seek professional help.

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