Transgenerational effects of trauma in midlife: Evidence for resilience and vulnerability in offspring of holocaust survivors

Amit Shrira, Yuval Palgi, Menachem Ben-Ezra, Dov Shmotkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite abundant research on offspring of Holocaust survivors (OHS), it is relatively unknown how they function in middle age. Transgenerational effects of the Holocaust may be stronger among middle-aged OHS as they previously suffered from early inclement natal and postnatal environment and now face age-related decline. However, middle-aged OHS may successfully maintain the resilience they demonstrated at a younger age. This study performed a wide-spectrum functional assessment of middle-aged OHS and a comparison group (N = 364) drawn from the Israeli component of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE-Israel). OHS, and especially those with two survivor parents, reported a higher sense of well-being but more physical health problems than the comparison group. The discussion provides possible explanations for this mixed functional profile.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-402
Number of pages9
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2011

Keywords

  • SHARE
  • functioning profile
  • midlife
  • offspring of Holocaust survivors
  • transgenerational transmission

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