In literature negative effects of exposure to parental conflict on psychological adjustment of children (internalizing and externalizing symptoms) are known, but posttraumatic outcomes have been less investigated. In a sample of 90 families with schoolaged children, this exploratory study aims to: 1) detect the presence of posttraumatic symptoms in children exposed to low versus high levels of parental conflict, and 2) investigate the mediating factors in the relationship between parental conflict and posttraumatic symptoms, taking as reference the Cognitive Context model and the Emotional Security hypothesis. The results show that, in high conflict families, the perceived threat plays a mediating role on the anxiety, depression, dissociation and PTS symptoms, and the destructive representations on the anger. Instead in low conflict families, the emotional distress plays a mediating role on the anxiety symptoms, and destructive representations on the anger.
Keywords: Parental conflict, posttraumatic symptoms, child adjustment, mediation.