Stranger Anxiety

Stranger anxiety is discomfort at the approach of an unfamiliar person. Babies differ greatly in how they show it: some cry vigorously, cling and hide their faces, or merely become subdued and wary. Because of differences among researchers with regard to behaviors used as evidence of stranger anxiety, there is disagreement about when it first occurs. Clearly, however, by the time they are one year old, most babies react with some degree of stranger anxiety. These reactions show that they can discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar people, an accomplishment of cognitive development. As the child continues to grow, new ways of showing discomfort appear. Preschoolers, for instance, may whisper or refuse to talk when strangers make a near approach. Babies and preschoolers who have had considerable experience encountering strangers or who are approached by a stranger while an attachment figure is closeby may show little or no stranger anxiety.

See also: ATTACHMENT; SEPARATION ANXIETY

Anxiety and Depression 101

Anxiety and Depression 101

Everything you ever wanted to know about. We have been discussing depression and anxiety and how different information that is out on the market only seems to target one particular cure for these two common conditions that seem to walk hand in hand.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment