cultural aspect of separation anxiety/stranger anxiety - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 11-23-2005, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i am just curious to see what you think about separation anxiety in different cultures. i mean is it a product of small families with not much extended families. for instance does it exist in asia, s. america, africa or even here where there is a lot of iteraction between family members. or a really social family who go out a lot of have people over.

i went back home to asia for a visit when my dd was 8 months old. she had had separation anxiety from 2 months of age. we were there for 2 months and once she came back it was all gone. here we are not a social family but i would go out since she was 2 weeks old. so it wasnt like we were constantly in teh house not seeing people.

i wonder if it is the same as stranger anxiety. do other extended family/friends groups suffer from stranger anxiety too.

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#2 of 6 Old 11-23-2005, 05:25 PM
 
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According to a really awesome book I'm reading -- Mother Nature by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy -- stranger anxiety is pretty much universal for human babies, and usually begins around 6-8 months (which is also, not coincidentally, when babies start to crawl and start solid foods). Babies usually react most fearfully to tall, bearded males.

Humans are also, apparently, the only species that get stranger anxiety -- even baby monkeys, of species prone to attacks by infanticidal males, are not afraid of "strange" male monkeys.
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#3 of 6 Old 11-24-2005, 05:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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the reason why i ask is when i went back i realised most children there do not suffer from stranger anxiety, separation anxiety or even too much of the 'mine' thing esp. where lots of people are involved. not every child. but it seemed to me the anxieties were a rarity rather than being the norm.

so i am trying to figure out if my experience is true of the majority.

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#4 of 6 Old 11-24-2005, 10:13 AM
 
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I think it's instinctual, but I am basing that on experience not research.

Sandy, proud mama and henna artist. :
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#5 of 6 Old 11-24-2005, 11:13 AM
 
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I hear what you're saying meeeemeeeee. I've seen children who've been raised in an extended family and it appears that they have SA but that might change if they were to be with someone they didn't know. When you're around a lot of people who love you and keep you safe, there is little reason to feel separated, imo.

cheers
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#6 of 6 Old 11-24-2005, 12:10 PM
 
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I believe separation anxiety almost doesn't exist except in Western societies. In most cultures children and at least one parent are hardly ever more than yards away from each other during the day and sleeping together at night.

"In many ways we live in an antichild culture. I recognize it because when we travel to other countries, more child-friendly places, the difference is amazing. In countries where the birth rate is high, there are simply more children around. They play in the road, they accompany their parents everywhere, and no one seems to make a fuss that children are about. They are part of life, part of what adults do--have and raise children. But in Western culture, children are the oddities."

~ Meredith Small in "Kids: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Raise Young Children."
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