Assessing intergenerational transmission of PTSD in offspring of Holocaust survivors using a Holocaust related Stroop task / by Abbie Elkin.
This study was designed to assess intergenerational transmission of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in children of Holocaust survivors (HS) symptoms using a modified Stroop task. To date, a Holocaust-related Stroop task had never been developed and administered to HS or their offspring. The primary goal of this study was to determine whether or not offspring of HS show an interference effect (i.e., an attentional bias) with Holocaust-related words in a modified Stroop task. A secondary goal was to assess the Stroop interference in relation to second generation HS intrusive thoughts about the Holocaust. A preliminary study was conducted to standardize Holocaust-related words, General Emotional words, and Neutral words to be used in the modified Stroop task. These words were implemented in an additional study and administered to different second generation HS and Jewish aged matched control participants using a modified Stroop task. There were 37 second generation HS who recalled PTSD symptoms in their parents (2G PTSD), 53 second generation HS whose parents did not meet criteria for PTSD (2G nonPTSD), and 41 Jewish aged-matched control participants. The results indicate that there was no significant difference between second generation HS and the control group using a repeated measures multivariate analysis, across the three word conditions. When the same analysis was performed between the three groups (i.e., 2G PTSD, 2G non PTSD, and control group) using the three word conditions (i.e., Neutral, Emotional, Holocaust), there was no significant interaction between group and word condition. However, a main effect for the word condition was found. A Post Hoc analysis indicated that the 2G PTSD group performed slower overall in all three word conditions compared to the control group. An additional finding is that there were more PTSD-like symptoms found in the second generation HS compared to the control group. The 2G PTSD group reported more frequent emotional/physical reactions when they thought about the Holocaust than the 2G nonPTSD group. These results suggest that there is a subjective perception of increased sensitivity towards Holocaust related material in the 2G PTSD group, but this sensitivity was not observed in the Holocaust-related Stroop task.
Record last modified: 2018-04-24 16:01:00
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