“Failure to Launch” Syndrome

“Failure to Launch” Syndrome

Failure to Launch Treatment in Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Coral Springs, Wellington, Royal Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens & Online

Do you have an adult child still living at home, long after you expected them to move out?

Are you having trouble getting your adult child to maintain employment or help out around the house?

Does your adult child spend a lot of time playing video games, or hanging out with friends instead of working or going to school?

Because of over-protective parenting, societal and economic changes, as well as technological advancements, today’s young adults, are struggling with a phenomenon known as “Failure to Launch” syndrome. While not an actual diagnosis, Failure to Launch syndrome refers to young adults who have struggled or failed to transition into adulthood.

Young adults with this syndrome may lag behind their peers in completing schooling or maintaining employment. They may still live at home and spend an inordinate amount of time on social media or playing video games. If your adult child lacks confidence, has little to no work ethic and lacks goals or motivation, they may be suffering from Failure to Launch syndrome. Other symptoms include entitlement, social anxiety, low tolerance for stress, and failure to assume adult responsibilities.

If any of this resonates with what’s going on in your life…

  •     Your adult child fails to maintain employment or stay in school
  •     Your adult child is anxious, depressed or lacks motivation
  •     You have arguments with your spouse or minor children because your adult child is still living at home
  •     Your adult child acts hostile, entitled and/or refuses to help out with basic chores
  •     You want to help motivate your adult son or daughter to finish school or improve their grades
  •     You need help enforcing structure and boundaries at home
  •     You’d like your adult child to contribute with rent and chores while going to school or work

… then family and individual therapy with a licensed mental health professional can help.

Therapy and structure can help young adults successfully transition into adulthood. Group or individual therapy can help them identify underlying causes for the issues they struggle with, and find new and positive ways to cope with and overcome these difficulties.


Failure to launch syndrome is not a true diagnosis, but rather is a common way to describe a young adult who is struggling with the transition to adulthood. It can be defined as an inability to leave home and support oneself, regardless of the underlying cause. Young adults struggling with failure to launch (or failure to thrive) may appear to be “stuck” or not maturing in an age appropriate way.

Most young adults find the rites of passage into adulthood enabling and encouraging. (Think: attending college or having a full-time job.) However, for some young people these changes can cause regressive behaviors. At times, the adult child has attended college and may have a bachelor degree, but has found themselves back in the parent’s home. The transition to adulthood can be especially difficult for a young man.

Many young adults will need extra support at some point during the transition to adulthood. This may include a stint at home with parents, but that does not mean all young adult children living with their parents are “failing” to launch. Failure to launch syndrome can only be considered after a long duration of dependency from the adult child, without notable progress or motivation.

If you’d like to schedule an appointment or get any of your questions answered, please call our office at 954-378-5381 for Broward and 561-223-1066 for Wellington or send us an email at info@caringtherapistsofbroward.com.

Appointment Request

For adults, we specialize in depression, anxiety, trauma, couples counseling, college students, psychological testing, women’s issues, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

For children and teens, we specialize in play therapy, anxiety, depression, mood management, ADHD, ADHD evaluations, trauma therapy, gifted evaluations, teen counseling and social skills therapy.

We service all of Broward County, including Pembroke PinesMiramarHollywoodCooper CityDavie, PlantationSouthwest Ranches, Coral Springs, and Weston.

We service all of Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Wellington, Royal Palm Beach & Palm Beach Gardens, including WellingtonRoyal Palm BeachPalm Beach GardensWest Palm BeachLoxahatcheeBoynton BeachWestlake, and Lake Worth.