Quality of Care After Early Childhood Trauma and Well-Being in Later Life: Child Holocaust Survivors Reaching Old Age

Elisheva van der Hal-van Raalte, Marinus H. Van IJzendoorn*, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The link between deprivation and trauma during earliest childhood and psychosocial functioning and health in later life was investigated in a group of child Holocaust survivors. In a nonconvenience sample 203 survivors, born between 1935 and 1944, completed questionnaires on Holocaust survival experience and several inventories on current health, depression, posttraumatic stress, loneliness, and attachment style. Quality of postwar care arrangements and current physical health independently predicted lack of well-being in old age. Loss of parents during the persecution, year of birth of the survivors (being born before or during the war), and memories of the Holocaust did not significantly affect present well-being. Lack of adequate care after the end of World War II is associated with lower well-being of the youngest Holocaust child survivors, even after an intervening period of 60 years. Our study validates Keilson's (1992) concept of "sequential traumatization," and points to the importance of aftertrauma care in decreasing the impact of early childhood trauma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)514-522
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Volume77
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • after trauma care
  • child survivors
  • Holocaust survivors
  • sequential traumatization
  • trauma

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