This research was supported by grants from The Levi Lassen Foundation, The Netherlands; ELAH–Center for Psycho-Social Counseling for émigrés of Dutch origin and their families, Israel; the Dutch governmental and Israeli Chapters of the Maror-Funds Foundation. Principal Investigator: Daniel Brom, PhD, Research Coordinator: Elisheva van der Hal-van Raalte, MA. The authors would like to thank the participants of the Infant Survivors of the Holocaust Study for their dedicated participation. We gratefully acknowledge the project's steering committee for their advice and the research assistants, especially Mina Dasberg, Tamar Freed, and Yamima Gottlieb, for their commitment to the project.
Sense of coherence moderates late effects of early childhood Holocaust exposure†
Article first published online: 24 OCT 2008
© 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Clinical Psychology
Volume 64, Issue 12, pages 1352–1367, December 2008
How to Cite
van der Hal-van Raalte, E. A.M., van IJzendoorn, M. H. and Bakermans–Kranenburg, M. J. (2008), Sense of coherence moderates late effects of early childhood Holocaust exposure. J. Clin. Psychol., 64: 1352–1367. doi: 10.1002/jclp.20528
- Issue published online: 29 OCT 2008
- Article first published online: 24 OCT 2008
- sense of coherence;
- Post-Traumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale;
This study evaluated child Holocaust survivors with an emphasis on potential protective factors facilitating participants' adaptation to post-Holocaust life. We examined Antonovsky's (1979, 1987) salutogenic paradigm, testing the mediating and moderating effect of participants' sense of coherence (SOC) on the association between early childhood deprivation due to Holocaust persecution and posttraumatic stress later in life. The nonclinical sample, composed of 203 child Holocaust survivors born between 1935 and 1944 completed questionnaires on Holocaust survival exposure, inventories on current health, posttraumatic stress, and SOC. The results indicated that SOC moderates the association between traumatic experiences during the war and posttraumatic stress, and SOC acts as a protective factor, buffering the impact of traumatic Holocaust experiences on child survivors in old age. Survivors with a less coherent perspective on the meaning of their life showed greater vulnerability for posttraumatic complaints. The moderating role of the SOC may suggest promising avenues of therapeutic interventions for child Holocaust survivors and other adults with early childhood trauma. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 64:1–17, 2008.