The long-term effects of extreme war-related trauma on the second generation of Holocaust survivors

Sarah Gangi, Alessandra Talamo, Stefano Ferracuti
Violence and Victims 2009, 24 (5): 687-700
The psychological consequences of intergenerational trauma on the second generation of Holocaust survivors were studied in a sample of 40 nonimmigrant Italian Jews and compared to a control group. Differences between offspring of Holocaust survivors (HSO) and a comparison group were assessed by the Adjective Check List, Anxiety Questionnaire Scale, Defence Mechanism Inventory, and Family Environment Scale. Although the HSO displayed no serious psychological consequences, they had higher anxiety levels than controls, low self-esteem, inhibition of aggression, and relational ambivalence. These data partially confirm previous research on the topic, although the level of psychological distress seems to be lower in the Italian sample than in other samples of second-generation Holocaust survivors.

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