Event centrality and secondary traumatization among Holocaust survivors' offspring and grandchildren: A three-generation study

Lee Greenblatt-Kimron, Amit Shrira, Tom Rubinstein, Yuval Palgi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study examined the intergenerational transmission of the Holocaust trauma in relation to levels of secondary traumatization and event centrality across three generations in a cross-sectional survey. Participants included 92 Holocaust survivor-offspring-grandchild triads (Holocaust G1-G2-G3) and 67 comparison triads (Comparison G1-G2-G3). Holocaust G1 reported higher levels of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms relative to Comparison G1. Holocaust G2 and G3 reported significantly higher secondary traumatization relative to Comparison G2 and G3, respectively. Holocaust G3 also reported significantly higher scores in event centrality relative to Comparison G3. In survivor families, the indirect effect of PTSD symptoms in Holocaust G1 predicted Holocaust G2's secondary traumatization, which subsequently predicted Holocaust G3's secondary traumatization. Moreover, PTSD symptoms in Holocaust G1 predicted Holocaust G3's event centrality through secondary traumatization in both Holocaust G2 and G3 and event centrality in Holocaust G2. In the comparison groups, trauma transmission was not observed in three generations. Findings elucidate unique intergenerational transmission of the Holocaust trauma in survivor families, which comprise both personal and societal constituents. Moreover, the findings show that event centrality is a distinctive mechanism in intergenerational transmission in survivor families.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102401
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Volume81
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Event centrality
  • Holocaust
  • Intergenerational transmission
  • Secondary traumatization

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