Princess sickness

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Princess sickness (or princess syndrome, Chinese: 公主病; princess disease, Korean: 공주병) is a term used to describe the psychological phenomenon affecting females, especially teenagers, and can be characterized by numerous physiological disorders, including narcissistic personality disorder, egocentrism and histrionic personality disorder, consequently resulting in individuals acting like or believing that they are "princesses".

Similarly, males with resembling characteristics are regarded as having "prince sickness."

The term originated from East-Asian nations as a result of economic growth, particularly in China and in East Asian Tiger countries, where economic growth and prosperity led to disparity between the upper and lower classes, leading to the upper class investing heavily on their children.[1][2]


  • Raising nonsensical requests and demands to others
  • Advocating materialism
  • Having extreme emotions
  • Being self-indulgent, not logical
  • Not concerned about social issues
  • Not willing to take any responsibility (to shirk one's duty)
  • Being self-centered
  • Desiring to be an authority
  • Yearning to rely on others
  • Having a strong sense of self-superiority

Major causes[edit]

Situation in Hong Kong[edit]

Low birth rate[edit]

Hong Kong has enjoyed low birth rates due to its geographic location and size,[3] leading to families that often consist of single children, similar to Mainland China's one-child policy.

Either the daughter or son becomes the treasure of their parents, who love their only children so much and try to protect them from getting hurt. They help them to solve problems and fight against all the obstacles in their daily life. In addition, parents are willing to buy everything the kids want provided that they can afford it. As children can access to the materials they want easily, the perception of gaining materials is inculcated into their minds consequentially, and hence they care more about the material aspect rather than the spiritual one.

Furthermore, these parents are usually in middle class who are always busying with their own career. They employ family maids to take care of the family. As time goes by, children may rely too much on them and even unreasonably require their servants to do everything.[4]

Intense competition in society[edit]

With the maturity of economic development, social mobility is solely adhering to personal academic qualification.[5] Parents under this competitive environment are tensed up to cultivate children with great talents, hence having a higher chance of getting into some renowned schools and eventually successfully jostle for a position in middle or upper class. This tension spreads through every detail in the children's lives, like complaining teachers giving a low grade,[6] with the intention to raise their competitiveness. Children are therefore being over-protected by parents' arrangements with shrinking independence and responsibility.

Social inequality[edit]

Social inequality in Hong Kong in a major economic issue that propagates this phenomenon, with the recent civil disobedience movement, Occupy Central with Love and Peace attempting to address the issue of social inequality.[7][8] It is a result of this that those of the Hong Kong elite have more disposable income then ordinary residents, leading to new generations with more wealth to pursue their desires.

In popular culture[edit]


Video Clip[edit]

  • I am a Hong Kong Girl with 公主病 (Gung Jyuh Behng) - Cantonese Word of the Week![10] - By CarlosDouh


  1. ^ Chua, Amy (8 January 2011). "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Empiricism and analytical tools for 21 Century applied linguistics: selected papers from the XXIX International Conference of the Spanish Association of Applied Linguistics (AESLA). Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca. 2012. p. 451. ISBN 9788490121542. 
  3. ^ Speed, Barbara (30 September 2014). "Hong Kong’s low birth rate blamed on women’s "sexual problems"". CityMetric Horizons. CityMetric. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Wong, Bill. "Monster/Helicopter Parents and Their Children's Independence". Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "2009-2010 Hong Kong Policy Address". Hong Kong SAR Government. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  6. ^ Tomohiro, Osaki (27 January 2011). "Exasperated teacher takes on Japan's 'monster parents'". CNN Travel. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Carroll, Toby (28 July 2014). "Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement is about inequality. The elite knows it". the Guardian. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  8. ^ Hu, Fox; Yun, Michelle (30 September 2013). "Hong Kong Poverty Line Shows Wealth Gap With One in Five Poor". Bloomberg. Bloomberg. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  9. ^ "Introduction of Jay Chou's music album". Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  10. ^ "I am a Hong Kong Girl with 公主病 (Gung Jyuh Behng) - Cantonese Word of the Week!". YouTube.