Long-term coping of Holocaust survivors: A typology

Shira Hantman, Zahava Solomon, Yoav Horn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The nature of long-range impairment resulting from exposure to the atrocities of the Holocaust has been studied extensively. Some survivors reported a high level of psychological distress, while others, who were exposed to similar experiences, reported little, if any, symptoms. The present study aimed to validate Danieli's (1-3) typology of differentiated patterns of long-term coping and adaptation among Holocaust survivors in an Israeli sample. Method: A sample of 150 Holocaust survivors participated in this study. Data were gathered as part of a larger study that assessed long-term coping styles of elderly Holocaust survivors when confronted with another life-threatening event, namely cancer. Results: The results point to the heterogeneous coping styles of Holocaust survivors and enable the formulation of a Survivor's Typology describing three types of adaptation: The "Victim," the "Fighter" and "Those Who Made It." The "Victim" type was found to be the most vulnerable. The "Fighter" and "Those Who Made It" types, who comprised over 80% of the sample, reported successful adaptation in the aftermath of the Holocaust.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-134
Number of pages9
JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
Volume40
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2003

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