Preadolescence is a stage of human development through childhood that occurs in a child's years before adolescence.New Oxford American Dictionary. 2nd Edition. 2005. Oxford University Press.] Sigmund Freud termed this the latency period, which he saw as a period of unparalleled repression of sexual desires and erogenous impulses. During the latency period, children direct this repressed libidal energy into asexual pursuits such as school, athletics, and same-sex friendships. He saw the latency period as a time of relative calm when there is little psychosexual conflict and unconscious conflicts and drives go underground and are therefore relatively inaccessible and unavailable. But soon puberty arrives, and the genitals once again become a central focus of libidal energy. The point at which a child becomes an adolescent is usually defined by the onset of puberty. However, in some individuals (typically females), puberty begins in the preadolescence years,cite web| title=Onset of Breast and Pubic Hair Development in 1231 Preadolescent Lithuanian Schoolgirls ||accessdate=2007-12-06|url=] and may extend a few years beyond the teenage years in others (typically males).cite web| title=Questions about Sex, Puberty, and Periods, for adolescents and their parents: 12. Puberty: Growing Up Early ||accessdate=2007-12-06|url=]

Psychological development

Preadolescent children have a different view of the world than younger children in several ways:

* May fear kidnappings, rapes, and scary media events, as opposed to fantasy things (i.e. witches, monsters, ghosts).
* Have more realistic job expectations ("I want to be an engineer when I grow up", as opposed to "I want to be a wizard".)
* Often have more chores, such as mowing the lawn, delivering papers, collecting things from friends or relatives and shovelling snow in winter, or helping out in rural activities such as caring for livestock and hauling wood.
* View human relationships differently (i.e. they may notice the flawed, human side of authority figures) .
* Begin to develop a sense of self-identity.
* Have increased feelings of independence.
* Have a different view on morality.
* More mature, sensible, realistic thoughts and actions
* Often gain knowledge of sexual intercourse.
* Are responsible for younger siblings and relatives, such as babysitting.
* Experience limerence or Puppy Love.
* Take adults calling them "cute," "sweetheart," and other baby names as an insult rather than a compliment.
* Start caring about what they look like and wearing make-up to cover-up pimples.

Some schools attempt to develop these feelings through the use of lessons tailored specifically to preteens' developing worldview. For example, debates on touchy moral issues (i.e. drugs or alcohol) are sometimes introduced in the upper elementary school grades, as well as classes on current events.Weasel-inlineFact|date=October 2007

Preadolescents generally prefer certain brands, and are a heavily targeted market of many advertisers. Their tendency to buy brand-name items may be due to a desire to fit in, although the desire is not as strong as it is with teenagers. Many of these brands include clothing and music.

Most preadolescent kids, consider watching comedy or reality shows (such as Disney Channel) rather than cartoons.


A preteen or a preteenager is a person under the age of thirteen years of age. Generally the term is restricted to those close to reaching the age of thirteen, especially boys aged 10-12 years old,and girls aged 9-11 years old.


Tween is an American neologism and marketing term [ Levasseur, Maïthé] (2007-02-09). [ Familiar with tweens? You should be...] . The Tourism Intelligence Network. Retrieved on 2007-12-04.] that means roughly the same thing as preteen. It is a portmanteau word of "between" and "teen".Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. Eleventh Edition. 2003. Merriam-Webster.] The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Fourth Edition. 2000. Houghton Mifflin Company.] The age range of tweens is generally considered to be eight to ten years of age. Marketers describe the driving psychographic motivation of this group as desperately wanting to be a teen, but not about to stop being a kid.Fact|date=December 2007 The term was first used in J.R.R. Tolkien's 1954 novel "The Lord of the Rings" to refer to Hobbits in their twenties; "...tweens" as Hobbits called the irresponsible twenties between childhood and the coming of age at thirty-three." -Tolkien, J.R.R; The Lord of the Rings; The Fellowship of the Ring. [Tolkien, J.R.R. "The Lord of the Rings; The Fellowship of the Ring " Copyright 1965 by J.R.R Tolkien; Ballantine Books, A Division of Random House Inc. SBN 345-24032-4-150 ]

ee also

*Precocious puberty


Myers, James. "Tweens and cool" [] , "Admap", March 2004.

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  • préadolescence — préadolescent, ente [ preadɔlesɑ̃, ɑ̃t ] n. VAR. pré adolescent, ente • 1959; de pré et adolescent ♦ Jeune garçon, fillette qui atteint l âge situé entre l enfance et l adolescence (période de la préadolescence). Abrév. fam. (1975) PRÉADO [… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • preadolescence — noun Date: 1930 the period of human development just preceding adolescence; specifically the period between the approximate ages of 9 and 12 • preadolescent adjective or noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • preadolescence — /pree ad l es euhns/, n. the period preceding adolescence, usually designated as the years from 10 to 13. [1925 30; PRE + ADOLESCENCE] * * * …   Universalium

  • preadolescence — noun the period between childhood and adolescence …   Wiktionary

  • preadolescence — pre·ad·o·les·cence .ad əl es ən(t)s n the period of human development just preceding adolescence specif the period between the approximate ages of 9 and 12 …   Medical dictionary

  • preadolescence — n. period before adolescence, time before puberty, pre teen years …   English contemporary dictionary

  • preadolescence — pre·adolescence …   English syllables

  • preadolescence — pre•ad•o•les•cence [[t]ˌpri æd lˈɛs əns[/t]] n. dvl the period preceding adolescence, usu. designated as the years from 10 to 13 • Etymology: 1925–30 pre ad•o•les′cent, adj. n …   From formal English to slang

  • preadolescence — /priædəˈlɛsəns/ (say preeaduh lesuhns) noun the period immediately preceding adolescence …   Australian English dictionary

  • preadolescence — (|)prē noun Etymology: pre + adolescence : the period of human development just preceding adolescence; specifically : the period between the approximate ages of 9 and 12 …   Useful english dictionary

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