The purpose of this experimental study is to evaluate perspective-taking, defined as the ability to assume another’s visual, cognitive and affective perspective, in maltreated preschoolers. 15 children (M = 58.73 months) living in "mother-child" therapeutic/ accomodation communities, victims of neglect and psychological abuse, have been compared with 15 non-maltreated peers (M = 57.80 months), living in prescriptive family environment. The data analysis did not reveal any significant differences regard to visual and cognitive dimension of perspective taking (false belief tasks and visuoperceptual tasks). Maltreated children have obtained worse performances in affective perspective taking tasks instead, demonstrating their lower ability in expressive understanding and emotional situation understanding (TEC), and in predicting their own emotion of sad.
Keywords: Maltreatment, perspective taking, preschool age, emotional competence