The intergenerational transmission of fundamental attitudes and beliefs in children of Holocaust survivors / by Miriam Kay Schechner.
The present study examined the impact of the Holocaust on 150 children of Holocaust survivors' (COHS) fundamental attitudes and beliefs. The world views of four different subgroups of children of Holocaust survivors-concentration camp, hiding, immigrant/escapee, and hybrid (e.g. parents are a combination of any of the other three types) were compared on overall favorableness of beliefs, the degree to which the world is viewed as benign or meaningful (including how much personal directedness, predictability, controllability exists), the extent to which one feels optimistic, has either positive or negative self-esteem, and lastly, how one regards interpersonal relationships in general. This study also assessed the extent to which parents directly communicated their Holocaust experiences to their children and evaluated the impact direct parental communication of the Holocaust had on COHS' world views. The findings showed that children of Holocaust survivors have more negative basic beliefs across seven of the eight variables except "benign world." All of the other variables are significantly different when compared with Jewish adult and children of immigrant control groups. These results demonstrate the existence of intergenerational transmission of trauma between Holocaust survivors and their offspring.
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