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Preadolescence

pre adolescence, pre adolescence stage
Preadolescence, also known as pre-teen or tween, is a stage of human development following early childhood and preceding adolescence It generally ends with the beginning of puberty, but may also be defined as ending with the start of the teenage years For example, dictionary definitions generally designate it as 10–13 years Preadolescence can bring its own challenges and anxieties

Contents

  • 1 Terminology and span
  • 2 Psychological development
    • 21 Home from home
    • 22 Divorce
    • 23 Media
  • 3 Freud
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
  • 6 Further reading

Terminology and span

Although dictionary definitions generally define preadolescence as ranging from age 10 to 13 years, it may also be defined as the period from 9 to 14 years While known as preadolescent in psychology, the terms preteen, preteenager or tween are common in everyday use A preteen or preteenager is a person 12 and under Generally, the term is restricted to those close to reaching age 12, especially age 11 Tween is an American neologism and marketing term for preteen, which is a blend of between and teen People within this age range are variously described as tweens, preadolescents, tweenies, preteens, pubescents, junior highers or tweenagers

The term tween was previously 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" In this context, the word is really either a shortened version of between or a portmanteau of teen and twenty, and in either case has no connection to teens, preteens or the American marketing niche

The point at which a child becomes an adolescent is defined by the onset of puberty or by the beginning of the teenage stage Adolescence is also viewed as ending with the teenage stage However, in some individuals particularly females, puberty begins in the preadolescence years, and adolescence may extend a few years beyond the teenage years in others typically males Studies indicate that 'the onset of puberty has been one year earlier with each generation since the 1950s'

One can also distinguish middle childhood and preadolescence – middle childhood from approximately 5–8 years, as opposed to the time children are generally considered to reach preadolescence There is no exact agreement as to when preadolescence starts and ends, and research suggests that 'chronological timeis by no means identical with developmental time – the duration of the "inner" stages of growth' – or with physiological time

Approximate outline of development periods in child development Preadolescence and preteen marked at center left

Psychological development

Main article: Developmental psychology

Of the 'two major socializing agents in children's lives: the family environmentand formal educational institutions,' it is 'the family in its function a primary socializer of the child' that predominates in the first five years of life: middle childhood by contrast is characterized by 'a child's readiness for schoolbeing self-assured and interested; knowing what kind of behavior is expectedbeing able to wait, to follow directions, and getting along with other children'

Preadolescent children in fact have a different view of the world from younger children in many significant ways Typically, theirs is a more realistic view of life than the intense, fantasy-oriented world of earliest childhood Preadolescents have more mature, sensible, realistic thoughts and actions: 'the most "sensible" stage of developmentthe child is a much less emotional being now' They will often have developed a sense of ' intentionality The wish and capacity to have an impact, and to act upon that with persistence'; and will have a more developed sense of looking into the future and seeing effects of their actions as opposed to early childhood where children often do not worry about their future This can include more realistic job expectations "I want to be an engineer when I grow up", as opposed to "I want to be a wizard" Middle children generally show more investment 'in control over external reality through the acquisition of knowledge and competence': where they do have worries, these may be more a fear of kidnappings, rapes, and scary media events, as opposed to fantasy things eg, witches, monsters, ghosts

Preadolescents may well view human relationships differently eg they may notice the flawed, human side of authority figures Alongside that, they may begin to develop a sense of self-identity, and to have increased feelings of independence: 'may feel an individual, no longer "just one of the family"' A different view on morality can emerge; and the middle child will also show more cooperativeness The ability to balance one's own needs with those of others in group activities' Many preadolescents will often start to question their home life and surroundings around this time and they may also start to form opinions that may differ from their upbringing in regards to issues such as politics, religion, sexuality, and gender roles

Greater responsibility within the family can also appear, as middle children become responsible for younger siblings and relatives, as with babysitting; while preadolescents may start caring about what they look like and what they are wearing

Middle children often begin to experience infatuation, limerence, puppy love, or love itself, though arguably at least with 'girls carrying out all the romantic interestpreadolescent girls' romantic pursuits often seem to be more aggressive than affectionate'

Preadolescents may still suffer tantrums at the age of 13, sometimes leading to rash decisions regarding risky actions Such decisions may in rare cases result in grave situations such as accidental death

Home from home

Where development has been optimal, preadolescents 'come to school for something to be added to their lives; they want to learn lessonswhich can lead to their eventually working in a job like their parents' When earlier developmental stages have gone astray, however, then, on the principle that 'if you miss a stage, you can always go through it later,' some middle children 'come to school for another purpose to learn but to find a home from homea stable emotional situation in which they can exercise their own emotional liability, a group of which they can gradually become a part'

Divorce

Children at the threshold of adolescencein the nine-to-twelve-year-old group would seem to have particular vulnerabilities to parental separation Among such problems were the very 'eagerness of these youngsters to be co-opted into the parental battling; their willingness to take sidesand the intense, compassionate, caretaking relations which led these youngsters to attempt to rescue a distressed parent often to their own detriment

Media

Preadolescents may well be more exposed to popular culture than younger children and have interests based on internet trends, television shows and movies no longer just cartoons, fashion, technology, music and social media 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

Some scholars suggest that 'pre-adolescents  reported frequent encounters with sexual material in the media, valued the information received from it, and used it as a learning resource  and evaluated such content through what they perceived to be sexual morality' However, other research has suggested that sexual media influences on preadolescent and adolescent sexual behavior is minimal

Freud

Freud called this stage the latency period to indicate that sexual feelings and interest went underground  the feelings that create that first "eternal triangle" with the parents fade, and free energy for other interests and activities' Erik H Erikson confirmed that 'violent drives are normally dormant  a lull before the storm of puberty, when all the earlier drives re-emerge in a new combination, to be brought under the dominance of genitality'

Latency period children can then direct more of their energy into asexual pursuits such as school, athletics, and same-sex friendships: middle childhood especially is marked by 'the importance of school, teams, classes, friends, gangs and organised activities  and the adults who run those' Nevertheless, recent research suggests that "most children do not cease sexual development, interest and behavior" at this time: rather, they "cease to share their interest with adults and are less frequently observed" Because "they've learned the rules  fit in with the grown-up's belief that they're not interested But the curiosity about it all continues, and there's quite a lot of experimenting going on between them' alongside other pursuits

But while the eight-year-old still has "years to wait until puberty, adolescence and finally sexual maturity  a sort of lull before puberty arrives,' with preadolescence proper 9–12, and the move forward from middle childhood, what have been called 'the introspective and social concerns of the prepubescent' tend to come more to the fore Clearly "few experiences are more prominent in the lives of preadolescents than the onset of puberty"; so that "at eleven or twelve you're just reaching the end of a long period during which change was steady and incremental": Freud's latency years

See also

  • Middle school
  • Precocious puberty

References

  1. ^ a b c New Oxford American Dictionary 2nd Edition 2005 Oxford University Press
  2. ^ a b c "Puberty and adolescence" MedlinePlus Archived from the original on April 3, 2013 Retrieved July 22, 2014 
  3. ^ a b "The Theoretical Basis for the Life Model-Research And Resources On Human Development" PDF Retrieved 2009-08-11 
  4. ^ a b "PSY 345 Lecture Notes – Ego Psychologists, Erik Erikson" PDF Retrieved 2009-08-11 
  5. ^ a b Dictionarycom --> Definition of preadolescence Based on the Random House Dictionary, 2009 Retrieved on July 5, 2009
  6. ^ a b William A Corsaro, The Sociology of Childhood 2005 p 191 and p 124
  7. ^ a b Donald C Freeman, Essays in Modern Stylistics 1981 p 399
  8. ^ a b Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary Eleventh Edition 2003 Merriam-Webster
  9. ^ a b The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language Fourth Edition 2000 Houghton Mifflin Company
  10. ^ Levasseur, Maïthé 2007-02-09 Familiar with tweens You should be The Tourism Intelligence Network Retrieved on 2007-12-04
  11. ^ Krafft, Bob 1994 Coping With Your Feelings: Five Active Meetings for Your Junior Highers p 55 
  12. ^ Thornburg, Hershel 1974 Preadolescent development p 291 
  13. ^ Hjarvard, Stif Prof 2013 The Mediatization of Culture and Society p 107 
  14. ^ Tolkien, J R R The Lord of the Rings; The Fellowship of the Ring Copyright 1965 by JRR Tolkien; Ballantine Books, A Division of Random House Inc SBN 345-24032-4-150
  15. ^ "Onset of Breast and Pubic Hair Development in 1231 Preadolescent Lithuanian Schoolgirls" adcbmjcom Retrieved 2007-12-06 
  16. ^ "Questions about Sex, Puberty, and Periods, for adolescents and their parents: 12 Puberty: Growing Up Early" rainbowpediatricsnet Retrieved 2007-12-06 
  17. ^ G Ryan et al, Juvenile Sexual Offending 2010 p 42
  18. ^ A Gesell et al, Youth London 1956 p 20
  19. ^ Dafna Lemish, Children and Television Oxford 2007 p 181
  20. ^ David Cooper, The Death of the Family Penguin 1974 p 26
  21. ^ Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence London 1996 p 193
  22. ^ Mavis Klein, Okay Parenting 1991 p 13 and p 78
  23. ^ daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence London 1996 p 194
  24. ^ Mavis Klein, Okay Parenting 1991 p 13
  25. ^ E Fenwick/T Smith, Adolescence London 1993 p 29
  26. ^ Goleman, p 194
  27. ^ Giselle Liza Anatol, Reading Harry Potter: Critical Essays 2003 p 20
  28. ^ "Boy aged 13 killed himself over Wii ban" Daily Mail June 27, 2008 Retrieved January 9, 2013  – via HighBeam Research subscription required
  29. ^ D W Winnicott, The Child, the Family, and the Outside World Penguin 1973 p 207
  30. ^ Skynner/Cleese, p 24
  31. ^ Winnicott, p 208
  32. ^ Ann Charlton, Caught in the Middle London 2003 p 90
  33. ^ Charlton, p 90
  34. ^ Dafna Lemish, Children and Television Oxford 2007 p 116
  35. ^ Steinberg, L, & Monahan, K 2010 Developmental Psychology
  36. ^ Robin Skynner/John Cleese, Families and how to survive them London 1994 p 271 and p 242
  37. ^ Erik H Erikson, Childhood and Society Penguin 1973 p 252
  38. ^ Lisa Miller, Understanding Your 8 year old London 1993 p 26
  39. ^ Ryan, Juvenile p 41-42
  40. ^ Skynner/Cleese, Families p 271
  41. ^ Miller, p 23 and p 75
  42. ^ Michell Landsberg, The World of Children's Books London 1988 p 270
  43. ^ Anatol, Potter p 21
  44. ^ Francis Spufford, The Child that Books Built London 2002 p 163

Further reading

  • Myers, James "Tweens and cool", Admap, March 2004
  • G Berry Brazelton, Heart Start: The Emotional Foundations of School Readiness 9Arlington 1992
Preceded by
Childhood
Stages of human development
Preadolescence
Succeeded by
Adolescence

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