The Problem of Childlike Boys: Peter Pan Syndrome

Some adult people, especially men, may exhibit socially childish behaviors even at maturity due to the fear of growing up as children. In order to understand the reasons behind this, it is necessary to look at the childhood of such people.

The name of the syndrome is named after the English writer James Matthew Barrie, published in 1912. Coming from the novel “Peter Pan”. The character of the novel, Peter Pan, who refuses to grow up, actually carries important parts of the author’s own private life. The author, who created the fantasy land called “Neverland” in the work, in a way took refuge here. emphasizes the desire to remain a child. It is also known that James Matthew Barrie, who reflects the pains of his own development process in the work, had a sexual identity crisis in his youth.

For the first time, the description of this syndrome, which suffers from problems with growth, Psychoanalyst Dr. Dan Kiley in 1983, but still not recognized as a true disease by the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

This syndrome, which can continue even in their 30s, creates adult-looking children and negatively affects the psychology of individuals who do not grow up.

The syndrome, which occurs at the age when social tasks begin to intensify, to maternal pressure and non-authoritarian father more common in exposed individuals. Children who are raised by an overprotective family are more likely to encounter this situation in the future.

This syndrome is usually seen in men. Women who are with this type of men start to act possessive and become involved in a relationship. the mother role This situation becomes tiring for women because they are

What kind of symptoms are seen at what age?

peter pan syndrome

  • 11-12 years: Don’t be irresponsible. Failure to perform simple self-care skills.
  • 13-14 years: Not getting along with the social environment, not caring about anyone.
  • 15-16 years: The loneliness brought by the thought of getting the approval of their peers and the fear of rejection.
  • 17-18 years old: Desire for family approval. Depression. Loneliness in society.
  • 19-20 years: Anger, addiction, narcissism.
  • 21-22 years old: sexist behaviors. Emotional insecurity.
  • 22-30 years old: Social inactivity. Emotional paralysis.
  • after 30: An unhappy individual who has run away from his responsibilities, distanced himself from himself, and refused to act like an adult.

So, what kind of behaviors do individuals suffering from this syndrome display in daily life?


  • If an event is to be held, they always leave the job of organizing it to others.
  • They do not wash the dishes for days, they do not throw away the garbage immediately and collect it.
  • They are not good at spending money, they spend money like children without thinking about tomorrow.
  • They cannot keep up with business life; They are often late for work, they do not complete their tasks on time.
  • They think that they will come to very good places without making great efforts.
  • They have a notion of being looked after.
  • They are not emotionally mature.
  • They avoid events by joking about serious matters.

Because of such behaviors, people suffering from Peter Pan Syndrome are often an unhappy adult they become.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


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