Author: Charles Sarnoff M.D.
There is a point during emergence from latency when a maturational process involving a burgeoning of physical secondary sexual characteristics, and a shift in primary love attachment from parents to peers is to be expected. In some young people, this expectation is interdicted by a cessation and regression in normal development; in effect, these young people make time stand still, or even turn back. Physical maturation slows; weight is lost; in girls menses ceases, and the figure recedes. Emotionally, involvement with the family intensifies, and involvement with friends becomes secondary. Usually, a strongly ambivalent quality invades peer ties. Peers are viewed as externalized rejecting and condemning superego figures. Therefore, the anger laden passivity relationship to the mother is
intensified for lack ofpeers to relate to and to trust.