This present study aimed to examine the impact of the experience of war on children’s mental representations, with a particular focus on parental and self-representation and affect regulation. 32 children age 6-8 were assessed using a narrative technique together with behaviour reports, comparing some of the data with children from a non-war environment. Aggression, anxiety, hyper-vigilance, increased sensitivity, and possible influence on attachment representations were expected to be present in the narratives of children exposed to war. The expectation for these themes is explained using Anna Freud’s ideas about aggression and anxiety, the literature linking child maltreatment and affect regulation, Cicchetti’s model that explains the link to the child maltreatment literature, and Bowlby’s ideas about parents and self-representations.
|Number of pages
|Published - 2003