1st Edition

Latency The Golden Age of Childhood

By Gertraud Diem-Wille Copyright 2018

    Latency: The Golden Age of Childhood concerns the child’s emotional and cognitive development during the period of latency. It constitutes a bridge between the first stormy years of child development and adolescence. The conflicts and libidinous wishes of early childhood are relegated to the background and become latent: in general, an emotional and physical stabilization occurs. The child is attempting to find its place in the world. Accordingly, its primary interest is no longer in itself or its parents, but in the outside world. This is particularly manifested in forms of play typical for this age range, strongly influenced by imitation of the adult world and reality-oriented. At the same time, the body is explored (and its awareness is strengthened through numerous games involving movement, skill and competition). In all societies, this period is when school begins.

    The latency development includes new physical and intellectual capabilities as well as the development of new ways to deal with problems of social hierarchy; gradually, tolerance of tensions and a stabilization of identity are developed as well.

    Introduction 1. Body and Psyche in Latency 2. Latency: the Development of Thinking and Learning 3. Latency Children in Therapy 4. The Significance of Reading in the Latency Period 5. Consequences and Overview


    Gertraud Diem-Wille is a training analyst for children, adolescents and adults at the Viennese Psychoanalytic Society (WPV) and the International Psychoanalytic Society (IPA). She has pioneered and supported the training in psychoanalytic observational approaches to training in psychoanalytic and educational fields in Austria. She is the Organising and Scientific Tutor of the Course "Psychoanalytic-orientated Parent-Infant- Psychotherapy" at the Viennese Psychoanalytic Academy of the WPV. She also works in a private practice. She is author of the books The Early Years of Life and Young Children and Their Parents.

    "This is an exceedingly wise book. It covers a seriously neglected area in psychoanalytic literature and theory. The clinical and historical illustrations, both of healthy thriving intelligent childhood and - equally- of painful failures in development and in thinking, make it a very illuminating and good read."-Anne Alvarez, Ph.D., MACP Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist