- an emotional attachment to a captor formed by a hostage as a result of continuous stress, dependence, and a need to cooperate for survival.
Origin of Stockholm syndrome
- a psychological condition in which hostages or kidnap victims become sympathetic towards their captors
Word Origin and History for stockholm syndrome
1978, a psychologists' term; the name derives from the Aug. 23, 1973, violent armed robbery of Sveriges Kreditbank in Stockholm, Sweden, after which four bank employees were held hostage in a vault for more than five days. The hostages developed a dramatic attachment to their abuser, and a fear of would-be rescuers, that they could not explain. The city arose mid-13c. from a fishing village; the second element in the name is holm "island;" the first is either stäk "bay" or stock "stake, pole."
- A phenomenon in which a hostage begins to identify with and grow sympathetic to his or her captor.