Subjective well-being among Holocaust survivors: an examination of overlooked differentiations

D Shmotkin, J Lomranz
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1998, 75 (1): 141-55
This study addressed the issue of adjustment among Holocaust survivors by multidimensional assessment of subjective well-being (SWB). Participants were Israeli Holocaust survivors incidentally included in a life-span study (Group 1; n = 466) or purposely approached for studying Holocaust survivors (Group 2; n = 178). Comparison participants had immigrated to Israel before World War II, with their parents either undergoing (Group 3; n = 270) or not undergoing the Holocaust (Group 4; n = 388); other comparison participants had immigrated after the war with parents not undergoing the Holocaust (Group 5; n = 166). Results showed that Group 1 scored lower than Group 2, mainly in positive affect. Group 1 scored lower than Group 4, and to a lesser extent also lower than Groups 3 and 5, mainly in aging-related themes of SWB. The study suggests that long-term effects of the Holocaust on the survivors' SWB are traceable but require a differential approach to the study groups and to the facets of SWB.

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