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A state of weariness with, and disinterest in, life.

Everyone, at one time or another, feels bored. Children, however, may report boredom more frequently because they have not yet learned to alleviate it for themselves. Infants and toddlers rarely experience boredom. Infants spend large blocks of time asleep and much of their waking time feeding. Toddlers have a nearly unlimited curiosity to explore a world that is still new to them. Preschool and school-aged children, though, are fickle in their attentions. The child may be engrossed in an activity one minute and, seconds later, lose interest and complain of boredom.

Adults who complain of boredom may be expressing their frustration at being unchallenged by their present activities. People who complain about being bored at work, for example, may feel that they are not being used to their potential. Boredom in adults is often a sign of a lack of intellectual stimulation. In rare instances, people who repeatedly complain of boredom might be suffering from a clinical condition such as depression. Depressed people may withdraw from formerly interesting activities and complain of boredom. Such a person may need to talk to a psychologist about the factors that are causing the depression.

Further Reading

Wester-Anderson, Joan. "Overcoming Life's Little Doldrums," Current Health 19, (February 1993): 4+.

Additional topics

Psychology EncyclopediaPsychological Dictionary: Abacus to Courage