The transgenerational effects of the Nazi Holocaust experience on eating attitudes and behaviors / by Elissa Zelman.
There is much in the literature concerning the transgenerational effects of the Nazi holocaust experience on the children (COS) and grandchildren of survivors (GCOS). There is additional literature on familial patterns and interactions evident with eating disordered individuals. However, there is no exploration of the effects of the holocaust experience, particularly starvation, on eating attitudes and behaviors among the children and grandchildren of holocaust survivors in the literature. This study attempted to explore the transgenerational effects of the holocaust by studying the eating attitudes and behaviors of the GCOS when compared to a control group. Literature concerning the transgenerational effects of the holocaust, eating disorders and familial patterns, and transgenerational family therapy was examined to highlight these issues. The study itself consisted of distributing questionnaires concerning family history, ethnic and religious information, and the Family Eating Attitudes and Behavior Scale (FEABS) to females between the ages of 14 and 25. Following collection of the data, this subject pool was divided into a control and an experimental group. Correlations and regression analyses were attempted to compare group mean differences and to ascertain how length of starvation predicts disturbed or nondisturbed eating attitudes and patterns. However, due to the small sample size, a regression analysis was unable to successfully be performed. Some of the differences in eating attitudes and behaviors that were to be studied are GCOS whose grandparents underwent a period of starvation during the Holocaust vs. those grandparents who did not; and differences in the length of starvation period. There were no significant differences found in this study. Problems with the conduction of the study are described and implications for future research are suggested.
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