Intergenerational transmission of trauma : grandchildren of Holocaust survivors / by Elissa Ganz
Includes bibliographical references (p. 108-114)
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Electronic version from ProQuest
The purpose of this study was to determine the possible intergenerational transmission of the holocaust to the grandchildren of survivors (GCOS), the third generation. There is a vast psychiatric literature that elucidates how the survivor's past traumatization has affected the psychological well being on the survivors themselves and their children (COS). To date there have only two or three studies on the GCOS, mostly when they were of grammar-school age. In this study, 30 adult GCOS (15 female and 15 male) were compared with 30 controls (15 female and 15 male) Jewish adult grandchildren whose grandparents did not experience the Holocaust in any direct way, to determine if different levels of family cohesion (disengaged vs. enmeshment), and adaptability (rigidity vs. flexibility), psychological symptoms, and general fear levels would be found. Participants completed a demographic questionnaire, the FACES-II, the SCL-90-R, and Fear Survey Schedule II (FSS-II). No significant differences were found between the two groups on any of the three measures. It is interesting to note, however, that both study groups scored higher than the norms on the FACES-II Cohesion subscale, which is an enmeshment measure, and on most of the SCL-90-R dimensions. Significant differences were found on the questions asked in the demographic questionnaire: (1) GCOS were in psychotherapy significantly longer than controls, (2) GCOS were twice as likely to report that their parents (COS) had difficult childhoods as compared to controls, and the following trend was found: GCOS were twice as likely to chose a career in the helping professions—psychology, social work, medical and teaching.
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