Tracing long-term effects of early trauma: A broad-scope view of holocaust survivors in late life

Dov Shmotkin*, Tzvia Blumstein, Baruch Modan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study addressed long-term effects of extreme trauma among Holocaust survivors (N = 126) in an older (75-94 years) sample of the Israeli Jewish population. Survivors were compared with European-descent groups that had immigrated either before World War II (n = 206) or after (n = 145). Participants in the latter group had had Holocaust-related life histories but did not consider themselves survivors. Controlling for sociodemographics, the results indicated that survivors fared worse than prewar immigrants in certain psychosocial domains, mainly cumulative distress and activity, rather than in health-related ones. Survivors and postwar immigrant comparisons had almost no differences. The study highlights the need for a wide view of functioning facets and comparison groups in delineating late posttraumatic effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-234
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Volume71
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2003

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