Peter Pan syndrome

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Peter Pan Syndrome is a pop-psychology term used to describe an adult who is socially immature. The term has been used informally by both laypeople and some psychology professionals in popular psychology since the 1983 publication of The Peter Pan Syndrome: Men Who Have Never Grown Up, by Dr. Dan Kiley. Kiley also wrote a companion book, The Wendy Dilemma, published in 1984. "Peter Pan syndrome" is not listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and is not recognized by the American Psyciatric Association as a mental disorder.


The Peter-Pan psychological type is one characterized by immaturity or certain sorts of psychological, social, and sexual problems. The type of personality in question, usually male, is immature and narcissistic. More completely, according to Kiley, the characteristics of a "Peter-Pan" include such attributes as irresponsibility, rebelliousness, pottering about, anger, narcissism, dependency, manipulativeness, and the belief that he is beyond society's laws and norms. According to Kiley, "Peter Pan" is the adult little boy who, when in a relationship or in seeking a relationship, acts out a need for mothering. It is useful to compare the Jungian archetype of Puer Aeternus, the eternal boy.

Referring to most of the outcomings and behavioural problems,one may link the Syndrome with Bipolar Disorder,aka the Manic-Depressive Illness.

In his book Kiley likened the characters of J. M. Barrie's play Peter Pan to a dysfunctional co-dependent family.

Other sources, unrelated to Kiley have provided a description of the Peter Pan syndrome affecting teenagers. Teenagers also exhibit many symptoms such as irresponsibility, and narcissism, but there are also different signs for teenagers. They rarely plan ahead, and are unlikely to know what they want to do with their lives. They are also usually attracted to older women, again, wanting a 'mother figure' to look after them. Template:Fix/category[citation needed] Narcissism, and the belief that they are special and beyond society are traits seen in many teenage males, however even these are noted as being stronger in those with a Peter Pan complex.Template:Fix/category[citation needed]


"Wendy" is the adult little-girl role who likes dolls — a woman who acts in a mother role. Contributing the other half of a co-dependent couple, her responses to the Peter-Pan man, according to Dr. Kiley, are such conducts as overprotection, possessiveness, complaining, and "martyrdom".

See also


  • Kiley, Dan, Dr. (1983) The Peter Pan Syndrome: Men Who Have Never Grown Up. ISBN 0-396-08218-1

External links

de:Peter-Pan-Syndromid:Sindrom Peter Pan it:Sindrome di Peter Pan nl:Peter Pan-syndroom