Early childhood holocaust survival and the influence on well-being in later life

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Early childhood holocaust survival and the influence on well-being in later life

Type: Doctoral Thesis
Title: Early childhood holocaust survival and the influence on well-being in later life
Author: Hal-van Raalte, Elisabeth A.M. van der
Publisher: Center for Child and Family Studies, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Leiden University
Issue Date: 2007-05-16
Keywords: Attachment
Child Holocaust survivor
Early childhood deprivation
Neuro-endocrine stress regulation
Old age
Post-traumatic stress
Quality of care
Sense of Coherence
Trauma after-care
Abstract: No specific, systematic research existed focusing exclusively on late effects of surviving the Holocaust and its aftermath on the youngest child Holocaust survivors. Born between 1935 and 1944, they had endured persecution and deprivation in their first and most formative years. From trauma-experiential and child-developmental points of view, their peri-Holocaust experiences are different from older child survivors. They hold no recollections of a world that was peaceful and benevolent to enhance early development of basic trust. This set of studies focuses on the associations between early childhood peri-Holocaust experiences and adaptations at the beginning of old age in a “with-in design” that compares three age cohorts in a non-convenience sample of 203 child Holocaust survivors, now living in Israel. Late-life implications of early traumatic stress for the adreno-cortical system were examined by assessing basal circadian cortisol release and cortisol reactivity to a stressor. Through several inventories severity of Holocaust survival exposure, current physical and psycho-social quality of life, and the role of Antonovsky’s Sense of Coherence as a protective factor were assessed. Results show mild to severe present-day repercussions of the Nazi persecutions, and a potentially moderating effect of the Sense of Coherence on later life impact of Holocaust survival experience.
Description: Promotor: M.H. van IJzendoorn, Co-Promotores: M.J. Bakermans-Kranenburg, D. Brom
With summary in Dutch
Faculty: Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen
Citation: Hal-van Raalte, E.A.M. van der, 2007, Doctoral thesis, Leiden University
ISBN: 9789090220871
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/12148

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