A comparison of third generation descendants of Holocaust survivors scores with the norms of self-esteem, locus of control, behavioral and social problems / by Kenneth Liebenau
Includes bibliographical references (p. 88-99)
This study compared scores of third generation Holocaust survivors (grandchildren of Holocaust survivors) to the norms on the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventories, Nowicki-Strickland Locus of Control, and Achenbach-Edelbrock Child Behavior Checklist--Parent's and Teacher's Version. The purpose of this study was to accrue data on some of the psychological strengths and weaknesses of the third generation. The subjects used in this study were referred from Second Generation of Los Angeles, California, and from friends and family members of the investigator. Additionally, the investigator recruited subjects during the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors in Los Angeles between April 19-21, 1991. The 36 third generation members, 21 female and 15 male, ranged in age from 7 to 16 years. The 30 second generation members, 17 female and 13 males, ranged in age from 34 to 45. Each third generation subject and his second generation parent were interviewed and administered questionnaires. The third generation responses were compared to the norms on self-esteem, locus of control, behavior problems and social problems to determine whether they are manifesting significantly greater or lesser levels of each variable as predicted by the hypotheses. The findings supported Hypotheses 1 and 2 which stated that individuals of third generation descendants of Holocaust survivors would demonstrate significantly greater or lesser levels of self-esteem and internal or external locus of control. As a group the third generation manifested significantly greater levels of self-esteem (higher) and locus of control (more internal) than the norm. Hypothesis 3 which stated that individuals of third generation descendants of Holocaust survivors would demonstrate significantly greater or lesser behavioral-social problems than the norm was not supported. Additional data revealed that the third generation culturally and religiously identify with Judaism. As a group, the third generation is coping with this tragedy by mourning for those who died in the Holocaust, seeking education about the Holocaust and occasionally discussing the Holocaust with their parents and grandparents. The second generation reported negative and positive Holocaust effects resulting from their survivor parents' experiences. Strengths and limitations of this study and recommendations for future research were discussed.
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