Attachment is the state of one object being bound, tied, or otherwise joined with another.

Attachment Theory

Attachment theory deals with the emotional bond between an infant and it's primary care-giver, most often an adult female.

General Mechanisms

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is a state of anxiety experienced by the separation of an infant with it's care-giver.


The mechanisms which begin separation anxiety are most likely cues that the care-giver isn't present: i.e. the infant can't see it's mother.

There may be a running mechanism which causes the infant to check at intervals to locate it's care-giver. If the care giver isn't present during one of these checks, then the infant initiates the separation anxiety response. This assumes that there is some distance between them and they are focused on different tasks.


The infant's behavior during the SA response is a strategy to be reunited with it's care-giver which involves elements which help the infant be found while attempting to find it's caregiver. In short, it's cries while searching frantically.


There may be a mechanism of both the care-giver and infant which attempt to prevent separation. At a close space, actual touching (clinging, holding hands), and physically separated, monitoring the distance occasionally.

See Also


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