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Peter Pan Syndrome

  • 24 Jun 2021
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, a special court in Mumbai granted bail to an accused of sexually assaulting a minor as he was suffering from Peter Pan Syndrome (PPS).

  • A syndrome is a combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process.

Key Points

  • About:
    • PPS is a psychological condition that is used to describe an adult who is socially immature.
    • People who develop similar behaviours of living life carefree, finding responsibilities challenging in adulthood, and basically never growing up suffer from PPS.
    • The term was coined by psychologist Dan Kiley to explain the behaviour of such men who ‘refuse to grow’ and behave their age in 1983.
      • Dan Kiley got the idea of PPS after noticing Peter Pan, a fictional character created by Scottish novelist James Matthew Barrie.
      • Peter Pan was a care-free young boy, who never grew up.
    • While the WHO (World Health Organization) does not recognise Peter Pan Syndrome as a health disorder, many experts believe it is a mental health condition that can affect one’s quality of life.
  • Symptoms:
    • PPS hasn’t officially been diagnosed as a health disorder, there are no clearly-defined symptoms or characteristics or even reasons which cause it.
    • However, it could affect one’s daily routine, relationships, work ethic, and result in attitudinal changes.
  • People Affected:
    • It can affect anyone, irrespective of gender, race or culture. However, it appears to be more common among men.
    • It affects people who do not want or feel unable to grow up, people with the body of an adult but the mind of a child.
      • They don’t know how to or don’t want to stop being children and start being mothers or fathers.
    • It is not currently considered a psychopathology. However, a large number of adults are presenting emotionally immature behaviors in Western society.
      • Psychopathology is a term which refers to either the study of mental illness or mental distress or the manifestation of behaviours and experiences which may be indicative of mental illness or psychological impairment.

Wendy Syndrome

  • The Psychologist who defined PPS also used the term Wendy Syndrome (WS) to describe women who act like mothers with their partners or people close to them.
  • People suffering from WS are often seen making decisions, tidying up messes, and offering one-sided emotional support.

Source: IE

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