Separation Anxiety Disorder
Separation anxiety symptoms are considered developmentally inappropriate after toddlerhood; average age of onset of symptoms consistent with disorder is 7. Separation anxiety disorder may be diagnosed when symptoms that cause clinically significant distress in social, academic, or other important areas of functioning persist longer than four weeks in children/adolescents.
At least three of the following behavioral or physical symptoms:
Separation Anxiety Screening and Assessment
- Screen for Child Anxiety Related Disorders (SCARED) - Child Form (ages 8-18)
- Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale - Child Version (ages 3-18)
- Separation Anxiety Avoidance Inventory for Children (SAAI-C) (ages 4-18) ($)
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (first-line treatment)
- Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Therapy
- Mindfulness-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
- What to Do (and Not Do) When Children Are Anxious (Child Mind Institute)
- Separation Anxiety Disorder in Children, Summary for Families (Cedars Sinai Hospital)
- Coping Cat for Parents
- Worry Wise Kids
*Separation anxiety content originally curated by Catherine Cheely, BSN, RN, CPN and M. Ryan Goldstone, BSN, RN.