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Keywords:

  • Holocaust survivors;
  • old-old;
  • vulnerability;
  • PTSD;
  • Israel

Abstract

This article examines a community-based sample of Holocaust survivors aged 75 and over, in comparison to persons of similar age and sociocultural background who did not personally experience the Holocaust. The analysis compares respondents' sociodemographic characteristics, interpersonal resources (locus of control and social network), and vulnerability, stratified by gender (n = 194). Assessments of vulnerability (physical health, mental health, and posttraumatic stress disorder—PTSD) are compared across groups. The results reveal almost no differences regarding the sociodemographic and interpersonal variables. Nevertheless, survivors are found to be more vulnerable than the others in the comparison group: (a) male survivors demonstrate a higher prevalence of PTSD, and (b) female survivors indicate greater health-related difficulties and poorer self-rated health.