Examined whether maltreated preschoolers are more likely than nonmaltreated preschoolers to have fewer moral - affiliative and more conflictual narrative representations and whether these representations mediate child behavior problems. A structured narrative story-telling task was administered to assess representations, and independent ratings of behavior problems were obtained from teachers. The narratives of maltreated children contained more conflictual and fewer moral - affiliative themes. Maltreated children also exhibited more internalizing and externalizing behavior problems. A partial mediation effect of conflictual representations on the relation between child maltreatment and externalizing behavior problems was found. The results demonstrate the relation between child maltreatment and children's organization of their life experiences and their behavioral symptomatology.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology|
|State||Published - 2000|