International Journal of Family Therapy

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 179–189 | Cite as

The Peter Pan Syndrome: Inpatient treatment of adolescent anorexia nervosa

  • Marsha Pravder Mirkin


Specific strategies designed for intervening in family, hospital, community, and school systems are discussed as crucial components in the treatment of adolescent anorexia nervosa. It is suggested that all these systems inadvertently collude in the “Peter Pan Syndrome”: maintaining the adolescent-identified patient in a latency age role in order to protect mother from depression and the family in its entirety from an “empty nest” developmental crisis. When strategic and structural alterations occurred within the above mentioned systems while the child was hospitalized and after discharge, the anorectic symptom was alleviated.


Health Psychology Anorexia Nervosa Social Issue School System Structural Alteration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marsha Pravder Mirkin
    • 1
  1. 1.Charles River HospitalWellesley

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