Functioning and mortality of holocaust survivors: Physical resilience and psychosocial vulnerabilities

Amit Shrira, Yuval Palgi, Menachem Ben-Ezra, Dov Shmotkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study aimed to examine Shmotkin's model according to which older people who experienced trauma would commonly demonstrate a general, mainly physical, resilience coupled with specific, mainly psychosocial, vulnerabilities. Examining Holocaust survivors and comparisons drawn from two national samples of older Israelis (N=477 and N=210), survivors did not differ in physical health markers but showed lower functioning in psychosocial markers. Concentration camp survivors demonstrated a lower or a similar mortality risk compared to other groups depending on the sample. Our findings support Shmotkin's model and imply that elderly Holocaust survivors represent a select group with a remarkable biopsychosocial constitution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-83
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Loss and Trauma
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2011

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