Huckleberry Finn Syndrome

The Huckleberry Finn Syndrome (also known as Truancy Syndrome) is named after a fictional character that first appeared in Mark Twain’s book ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’. Finn is the son a vagrant drunk and sleeps on doorsteps when the weather is fair, in empty hogsheads during storms, and living off of what he receives from others, Huck lives the life of a destitute vagabond.

As a syndrome it is a psychodynamic complex in which the obligations and responsibilities avoided as a child, eventually leading to frequent job changes and absenteeism as an adult.
The Huckleberry Finn Syndrome is regarded by some be as a defense mechanism linked to parental rejection, low self-esteem and depression in an intelligent person. In reality it is the result of the absence of nurture and supervision by adults and the patient has not adapted to the obligations the society demands of adults[1].

The symptoms of the Huckleberry Finn Syndrome should not be confused with other possible syndromes, such as ADHD.

[1] Vaughn et al: Prevalence and correlates of truancy in the US: results from a national sample in Journal of Adolescence - 2013

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