Definition, Clinical Description, and Diagnosis | Epidemiology | Comorbidity | Etiology, Mechanisms, and Risk Factors | Prevention | Course and Prognosis | Evaluation | Treatment | Research Directions
Separation anxiety is a developmentally appropriate response
in young children upon separation from their primary caregivers.
This is normal for infants from 6 to 30 months of age and usually
intensifies between 13 and 18 months of age (Kearney et al. 2003). Separation anxiety typically declines between 3 and 5 years
of age as a result of the child's cognitive maturation
that allows the child to comprehend that separation from a caregiver
is temporary. SAD occurs when the child demonstrates developmentally
inappropriate distress associated with separation from a primary
caregiver (American Psychiatric Association 2000).
The DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria for SAD are presented in Table