Do you have a child with separation anxiety?

I am a student at Warwick University and I am doing my MA in Psychology and Education.

My dissertation is about Separation Anxiety Disorder and more specifically about the behaviour of children with separation anxiety at the first year of primary school (reception year) in the UK.

If you are parents of a child who has symptoms of separation anxiety and attachment issues or teachers who have at your classroom a child with these symptoms you are kindly asked to complete a very short questionnaire.

I am interested in finding out if there is a difference in their behaviour at school from when they are at home and if this disorder affects their behaviour.

It will only take 10 minutes of your time and you will be able to raise understanding on this very under-researched topic. Identification is crucial for finding the right solution to help them and this will make you consider certain aspects you hadn’t thought before.

You can contact me at my email:
You can ask for more information and have my complete research design and you can communicate with my supervisor. At the end you are going to know the results of the research.

Hi - just to warn you in advance that the mods may arrive on your post! I only speak as a ‘regular member’ but I think that for researchers such as yourself to post requests for participation in any research project requires approval from CUK itself. This is to protect forum members, and I’m sure you’ll understand.

I’m sure you’re completely ‘kosher’ in your research request, but it may be, for all that, you are not given such permission.

Anyway, let’s see what the mods respond with!

That isn’t to say in the least your research isn’t valid, or valuable! And it could be your request passes the criteria for acceptance here, for all I know!

All I would say is, speaking entirely as a parent, please please please do NOT be too hasty in ‘medicalising’ something that might also be entirely ‘normal’ in a child - ie, that ALL children can display (very understandably) anxiety about separating from parents. Where the borderline comes between ‘normal’ anxiety and ‘abnormal’ (ie, excessive) is VERY hard. But there are distinct dangers from over-medicalising, even from the best of intentions. Labelling a child ‘in need of psychiatric attention’ in ANY way, can, ironically, of itself, cause far far far more long term damage than ‘tolerating’ what may well only be a ‘passing phase’.

It’s making that call ACCURATELY, so that a child who IS ‘excessively distressed’ is not ‘ignored’ or ‘written off’ or, as I may be pointing out, told to ‘grow out of it in time’ etc etc.

For all that, over-diagnosis DOES carry risks - and that is even before the exceptionally morally difficult issue of ‘scarce resources’ in the NHS’s mental health service is touched upon, and the dreadful issue of ‘where should the money be best spent’ is raised (and yes, that in itself can be an argument in favour of ‘early intervention’ which is - if successful AND necessary in the first place - is usally MUCH more cost effective, even in the brutal world of Health Economics (let alone Human Happiness).

Always remember, with caution, that research can exist in its own self-perpetuating and self-confirming bubble…reality checks are endlessly needed by all involved in psychological research!

"I am interested in finding out if there is a difference in their behaviour at school from when they are at home "

Most parents are highly familiar with the phenomenon that a child can be sobbing in their arms not to be left at kindergarten…only to be told when they collect them that they had a WONDERFUL day the moment they couldn’t see their mum any longer!!!

(I did this my first day at kindergarten apparently. The first day I sat in a corner and refused to participate. But what I was doing, apparently, was checking out what was going on. The second day I had decided that what was going on was fun, and joined in totally!)

(A friend of my son’s used to hide in the wardrobe rather than go to Reception class. He now has a first from Oxford. :slight_smile: )

PPS - I’m sure you are taking into account that all too often it is parents who teach a child to be anxious. The ‘disorder’ is in the parent, not the child…

(Oh, and of course, beware the old Munchausen’s by Proxy danger!) (‘I’m scared, so I want my child to be scared too, as that makes me feel more normal and justified, and getting lots of attention for my child, as I feel too guilty to get attention for my own disorder’…)

(I first mistyped MUMchausen’s! Freudian or what?!)

(My SIL taught my poor niece to be terrified of everything…she still is at 35, and on high anti-depression meds. Ruined her life.)

As Jenny has already pointed out your original post is in contravention of out Community Guidelines

Research and consultations

Because our community is primarily here to facilitate peer support, we do not allow third parties to post links to research or surveys. However, occasionally Carers UK may start a thread in relation to research we are conducting by ourselves or in partnership with another charity.

If you would like to discuss potential collaboration with Carers UK on a research project please get in touch at >

I regret, therefore, that I must lock this topic until permission has been sought to post your research request.

Forum Moderator