Parental PTSD affects health behavior and aging among offspring of Holocaust survivors

A new study on intergenerational transmission of trauma has found evidence that Holocaust survivors suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and their adult offspring exhibit more unhealthy behavior patterns and age less successfully in comparison to survivors with no signs of PTSD or parents who did not experience the Holocaust and their offspring.

Now that they are mostly middle aged or older adults, offspring of Holocaust survivors may be assessed to determine whether ancestral trauma lingers on to affect their aging process. The results can provide important data not just about Holocaust survivors and their offspring, but also in general about aging individuals who were exposed to massive trauma.

Prof. Amit Shrira, of Bar-Ilan University’s Interdisciplinary Department of Social Sciences, studied more than 187 dyads of parents, including some who survived the Holocaust and some who weren’t exposed to the Holocaust, and their adult offspring (374 individuals in total).

Full story at Science Daily

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Will Savage

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