Differentiation of the self and posttraumatic symptomatology among ex-POWs and their wives

Zahava Solomon, Rachel Dekel, Gadi Zerach, Danny Horesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


War captivity is a highly traumatic experience which sometimes has deleterious effects on both ex-POWs and their wives. This study examined the relationships between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and differentiation among male ex-prisoners of war (ex-POWs; n = 103), their wives (n = 82), and comparable controls. Results show that ex-POWs and their wives endorsed more PTSD symptoms than controls. Ex-POWs endorsed more cut-off and fusion than controls, while their wives endorsed only more fusion than control wives. Finally, the relationship between differentiation and PTSD was found to be stronger among ex-POW couples than among control couples. The unique characteristics of war captivity and the relationships between avoidance symptoms and cut-off were suggested as possible explanations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-73
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Marital and Family Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


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