Significance of the Latency Period

  • Roy M. Mendelsohn


The period of latency usually has reference to a chronological segment of time from the ages of 5 or 6, to the ages of 11 or 12. The term latency has been applied to this time period because there appeared to be an abatement of open evidence of instinctual intensity. At one time, there was even a question as to whether there was a physiological component to the supposed diminution of drive activity. The active instinctual involvements of early childhood appeared to change in their intensity and manner of expression during this time, until the upsurgence of instinctual activity with the onset of pubescence. Many observers have questioned the idea of an abatement of sexual activity, and there is ample evidence to support this view. Sublimated expressions of instinctual activity are abundantly present in children whose development has been unimpeded by arrests, deficiencies, or pathological distortions, which are associated with an internal capacity for more effective regulation.


Latency Period Good Object Sexual Object Sensory Deprivation Object Impression 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roy M. Mendelsohn
    • 1
  1. 1.St. LouisUSA

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