The relationship between loss of parents in the Holocaust, intrusive memories, and distress among child survivors
Letzter-Pouw S, Werner P.
Am J Orthopsychiatry. 2012 Apr;82(2):201-8
The prevalence of intrusive memories of the Holocaust and their relationship to distress was examined among 272 child survivors in Israel. Using attachment theory as a conceptual framework, the authors also examined the effects of type of experience and loss of parents in the Holocaust, psychological resources, other life events, and sociodemographic characteristics on distress and symptomatic behavior. Eighty five percent of the participants reported suffering from intrusive memories. Structural equation modeling showed that survivors who lost one or both parents in the Holocaust suffered more distress because of more intrusive memories. These findings suggest that intrusive memories may be part of unfinished mourning processes related to the loss of parents in the Holocaust.