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

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


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
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


FundersFunder number
Department of Clinical Epidemiology at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center
Israeli Multidisciplinary Aging Study
National Institute on AgingR01-5885-06, R01-5885-03
Israel National Institute for Health Policy ResearchA/2/1998


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