Plenty of studies show that preadolescence takes on a significant prominence in the formation and consolidation of towards ethnic and cultural diversity. This article describes the findings of a survey carried out by means of a semi-structured questionnaire administered to a sample of 431 preadolescents in two middle schools in Modena. On the whole, the interviewed preadolescents perceive diversity by using principles based on the relevance, assumed in preadolescence, by the sense of belonging to a group. There appears to be a particular sensitivity towards stereotypes linked to non-EU immigration in all its aspects. Preadolescents seem to elaborate strategies to cope with the "development tasks" entailed by preparation for future entry to adulthood, in particular tasks addressing entry in the social environment and gender differentiation tasks linked to the pubescent period. Such connections are confirmed by the observation of differentiated attitudes toward diversity according to gender. Specifically, among males there is a greater tendency to express more negative attitudes towards diversity.