Separations between children and their attachment figures are highly significant experiences within attachment theorising and in much attachment research. Bowlby devoted an entire volume of his attachment trilogy to separation issues (Bowlby 1973). How a child responds to a brief separation from the attachment figure (and perhaps more importantly to a subsequent reunion) has formed a central focus in research on individual differences in attachment security as we have already seen. In this chapter we consider how children respond to separation from attachment figures, what factors influence the responses children make, and how children can best be helped to deal with separation distress.
Research about the effects of child-care attendance on development is also discussed. This is an area of great significance in our society where growing numbers of infants and young children are spending increasing amounts of time in non-parental care and hence experience repeated and sometimes quite lengthy separations from parental attachment figures during the day. How the parents themselves respond to this form of separation from their children is considered in chapter 11. Adults' feelings about separation, and