Protective factors for intergenerational transmission of trauma among second and third generation Holocaust survivors / by Lotem Giladi.
The current study explored whether differentiation of self and family communication styles are protective factors of secondary traumatic stress (STS). A sample of 215 Jewish Americans/Canadians whose families immigrated from Europe prior or after WWII completed an online survey consisting of self-report measures. Four groups were created based on the participants’ Holocaust background and demographics: Second generation (2G; n = 77) and third generation (3G; n = 52), who had at least one parent or grandparent, respectively, who survived the Holocaust, and a matched control group for each generation (n = 50; n = 36, respectively). Results showed that levels of STS were generally within the normal range; however, 2G and 3G reported higher level of STS, lower levels of differentiation of self and less open verbal communication compared to their control groups. Greater differentiation of self and more open-verbal family communication were associated with lower levels of STS. Differences between groups were consistent with other studies suggesting a mixture of resilience and vulnerability factors among 2G and 3G.Keywords: Holocaust trauma, secondary traumatic stress, differentiation of self, family communication, intergenerational patterns
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