Owning Teddy Bears Does Not Reflect Immaturity

Owning stuffed animals as an adult says nothing about your mental health
teddy bears, adult with teddy bears, psychological maturity, maturity


An adult who happens to own a robust collection of plush pals might make you uneasy. Past studies of adult psychiatric patients, after all, had found that owners of toy animals were more likely than others to have a personality disorder. Now you can relax, however: a study in the September 2012 Journal of Adult Development found no such link in a nonclinical sample of typical adults. The researchers used physiological and self-reported measures of emotion regulation, including tests of psychological immaturity.

Although “some people might automatically assume that an adult owning a toy animal is an indicator of the owner's immaturity,” explains lead author Stuart Brody, professor of psychology at the University of the West of Scotland, “there was no association of adult toy animal ownership with emotion regulation and maturity.”

So go ahead and leave the toy animals on your bed the next time you have guests—but you may want to keep a copy of this article nearby.

Rights & Permissions

This article was originally published with the title "Keep the Teddy Bear."

or subscribe to access other articles from the January 2013 publication.
Digital Issue $7.95
Digital Subscription $19.99 Subscribe
Share this Article:


You must sign in or register as a member to submit a comment.

Starting Thanksgiving

Enter code: HOLIDAY 2015
at checkout

Get 20% off now! >


Email this Article