Perception of self and parents by second-generation holocaust survivors

Giora Keinan, Mario Mikulincer, Abraham Rybnicki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study’s objectives were to test the emotional stability and self-perceptions of Holocaust survivors’ offspring (HSO) and to investigate how HSO perceive their parents. It was assumed that the investigation of these two issues would broaden our understanding of the mediating processes through which the psychological burdens of the survivors might be transmitted to their descendants. Forty-seven subjects, all second-generation Holocaust survivors, were compared with 46 control subjects on measures of emotional stability (anxiety and depressive moods) and measures of self-perception and perception of parents. The groups did not differ on the emotional stability and self-perception measures. However, it was found that the children of Holocaust survivors, compared with the control subjects, perceived their parents as more tense, but also as more attractive. The correlations between self-perception and perception of parents were lower in the HSO group than in the control group. These findings suggest that HSO seem to have developed unique coping mechanisms that enable them to deal with their parents’ psychological burdens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-12
Number of pages7
JournalBehavioral Medicine
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1988

Keywords

  • Emotional stability
  • Perceptions
  • Second-generation Holocaust survivors

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