Secondary salutogenic effects in veterans whose parents were Holocaust survivors?

Sharon Dekel*, Zahava Solomon, Eyal Rozenstreich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Addressing the ongoing controversy over inter-generational transmission of trauma, we examined the impact of the Nazi Holocaust on PTSD course and co-morbid symptoms (e.g., depression, anxiety) among offspring of survivors following their own adversity in two longitudinal studies. Two samples of Israeli war veterans included Second Generation Holocaust (i.e., SGH) survivors and comparable veterans with no such family history (i.e., not-SGH). Study I: 1982 Lebanon War veterans (N = 669) were assessed 1, 3, and 20 years after the war. Study II: 1973 Yom Kippur War veterans (N = 343) were followed up 18, 30, and 35 years after the war. Results indicated that SGH endorsed higher PTSD and co-morbid symptoms criteria rates than not-SGH veterans in the initial post-war years but this pattern was reversed in the long-term, that is, lower rates were evident among SGH in later follow-ups. These findings suggest the development of a complex trauma reaction among offspring of trauma survivors. Possibly there is a transmission of positive trauma outcomes from one generation to the next rather than merely negative ones. Future studies are therefore warranted to re-evaluate the notion of inter-generational transmission of trauma and examine its components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-271
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2013

Keywords

  • Inter-generational transmission of trauma
  • PTSD
  • Second generation Holocaust survivors
  • Secondary traumatization
  • War veteran

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