Posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, psychological distress, personal resources, and quality of life in four groups of Holocaust child survivors

R Lev-Wiesel, M Amir
Family Process 2000, 39 (4): 445-59
The objective of the present study was to inquire into the long-term effects of child survivors' Holocaust experience. To this end, 170 Holocaust survivors who were born after 1926 completed questionnaires with regard to psychological distress, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Quality of Life (QoL), Self-identity, and Potency. The survivors were divided into four groups based on the setting of their experience during the Holocaust: Catholic Institutions, Christian foster families, concentration camps, and hiding in the woods and/or with partisans. Results showed that survivors who had been with foster families scored significantly higher on several of the measures of distress, whereas survivors who had been in the woods and/or with partisans scored significantly higher on several of the positive measures, QoL, potency, and self-identity. The discussion focuses on understanding the different experiences according to developmental theory and sense of control. It was concluded that there are group differences between child survivors according to their Holocaust experience.

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