Authors: Nina M. Pacholec, Melissa E. Tamas, Rosa M. Poggesi, Lisa C. Hoyman, Sarah Tabbarah, Micaela Thordarson, and Robert D. Friedberg
Separation anxiety disorder (SAD) is a commonly occurring anxiety disorder in children. Indeed, SAD is the only anxiety disorder particular to disorders of childhood in the DSMIV.
SAD creates considerable distress in parents and children. Moreover, left untreated SAD contributes to social and academic impairment. Accordingly, proper assessment and treatment
methods are essential. This paper proposes several means for identifying and treating children with SAD. Assessment methods designed to detect SAD in youth are presented and reviewed. Special emphasis is placed on selecting the most developmentally sensitive methods. Further, multicultural issues in the assessment of SAD are addressed. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) models for the treatment of SAD are presented. Traditional and
innovative methods for taking care of young patients and their families are described. Several case examples amplify the salient points.
Keywords: Separation anxiety disorder, child, cognitive behavioral therapy