This exploratory research aims to evaluate whether the chronic violence moderates the effect of age on the concept of self and others, and if the presence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) mediates the relationship between age and these representations. The experimental group consists of 63 children, who are victims of maltreatment, compared with a control group of 63 non-victimized children, matched for gender, age and socio- economic level. The results suggest that the presence of chronic experiences of violence moderates the relationship between age and the concept of self and others: in victimized children emerges a more vulnerable sense of self and others, linked to more superficial dimensions and characterized by more negative emotions (related to himself and attributed to others) and by an unstable locus of control, with a focus on the past and pessimistic ideas about the future. In addition, the presence of high levels of PTSD mediates the effect of age on these representations, especially for the negative thoughts about the self and the other, the negative emotions, and the poor planning in the future.
Keywords: Child maltreatment, representations of self and others, PTSD, self characterization.