Keywords: chronic illness, symbolic skills, narrative skills, preschoolers, Famiglia degli Orsi.
This study wants to explore the link between physical illness and psychological development in childhood. In the attempt to enlighten the role of chronic illness on the development of symbolic and narrative skills in childhood, an explorative study has been carried out. The projective test «La Famiglia degli Orsi» (Venuti and Cesari, 1998) was administered to 54 children (22 chronically ill and 32 not chronically ill) aged between 3 and 6 (M = 4.80; DS = 1.76). Findings highlight that chronically ill children showed poor symbolic skills both in play and in narration, although they show a good approach to play and a quite rich playing behaviour.