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The term "arrested development" has had multiple meanings for over 200 years. In the field of medicine, the term "arrested development" was used, in 1835-1836, to mean a stoppage of physical development; the term continues to be used in the same way.
However, in the UK Mental Health Act of 1983, the term "arrested development" was considered a form of mental disorder consisting of severe mental impairment, resulting in a lack of intelligence.
Failure to achieve developmental tasks at one stage leads to unhappiness in the individual, disapproval of society, and difficulty in accomplishing later developmental tasks.
Other researchers have objected to the notion that mental development can be "arrested" or stopped, preferring to consider the mental status as developing in other ways, rather than the notion of mental growth as arrested. Consequently, in psychological terminology, the term "arrested development" is no longer used in referring to a developmental disorder in mental health.
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