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Psicothema. 2008 Aug;20(3):383-8.

[Separation anxiety disorder in a sample of children of divorce].

[Article in Spanish]

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Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y Jurídicas, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Elche, Spain.


Anxiety in children through separation from parents is one of the most frequent psychological problems in the infantile population. Children of divorce are more vulnerable to suffer this disorder due to the abrupt separation from one of the parents after the break-up, which they may experience as a traumatic event that predisposes them to react anxiously in daily separations. The purpose of this study is to examine the presence of symptoms of separation anxiety and general anxiety in a Spanish sample of 95 students of ages between 8 and 12 years. They were compared to a group of children of similar ages and sex whose parents are not divorced. The results show that children of divorce present higher levels of separation anxiety than the children whose parents remain together. Moreover, they show significant levels of generalized anxiety, but similar to that of the other group of children (undivorced parents). The clinical implications of these findings are discussed, emphasizing the importance of cooperation and frequent contact of the children with both parents to promote their security and autonomy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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