Interpersonal vulnerability among offspring of Holocaust survivors gay men and its association with depressive symptoms and life satisfaction

Geva Shenkman, Amit Shrira, Kfir Ifrah, Dov Shmotkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The aim of the current study was to examine whether offspring of Holocaust survivors (OHS) gay men report higher interpersonal vulnerability in comparison to non-OHS gay men, and to further assess whether that vulnerability mediates the association between having a Holocaust background and mental health outcomes (depressive symptoms and life satisfaction). For this purpose, a community-dwelling sample of 79 middle-aged and older OHS and 129 non-OHS gay men completed measures of hostile-world scenario (HWS) in the interpersonal domain, satisfaction from current steady relationship, depressive symptoms and life satisfaction. Results indicated that OHS reported higher HWS interpersonal vulnerability and lower satisfaction from current relationship in comparison to non-OHS gay men. Also, having a Holocaust background had an indirect effect on depressive symptoms and life satisfaction through HWS interpersonal vulnerability as well as through satisfaction from current relationship. These findings are the first to suggest interpersonal vulnerability of older OHS, in comparison to non-OHS, gay men, and an association between this vulnerability and adverse psychological outcomes. This interpersonal vulnerability, possibly representing HWS threats of both early family-based trauma and current sexual minority stress, along with its implications, should be addressed by practitioners who work with older gay men having a Holocaust background.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-94
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume259
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2018

Keywords

  • Depressive symptoms
  • Hostile-world scenario
  • Interpersonal vulnerability
  • Life satisfaction
  • Offspring of Holocaust survivors
  • Older gay men
  • Sexual orientation

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