Stranger anxiety (also eight-month anxiety) is a form of distress that young people experience when exposed to people unfamiliar to them. Symptoms may vary, but include: The child getting very quiet and staring at the stranger, the child verbally protesting by cries or other vocalizations and/or hiding behind a parent. Stranger anxiety is a typical and therefore normal part of the developmental sequence that most children experience. The alternative title indicates when this is prevalent.
The anxiety is related to issues of secure attachment.