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Children with serious illness: Behavioral correlates of separation and isolation


The deleterious effects of separation have been demonstrated in experimental animal studies and in naturalistic case studies of children. In this study extensive observational and physiological records were obtained on four preschool children who were receiving chemotherapy for childhood cancer. The findings generally parallel those reported in the subhuman primate literature. The children's behavior followed a sequence of agitation followed by behavioral depression. The findings underscore the seriousness of parent-child separation and the need to develop intervention strategies to ameliorate these deleterious effects.

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Hollenbeck, A.R., Susman, E.J., Nannis, E.D. et al. Children with serious illness: Behavioral correlates of separation and isolation. Child Psych Hum Dev 11, 3–11 (1980).

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  • Experimental Animal
  • Intervention Strategy
  • Animal Study
  • Social Psychology
  • Deleterious Effect