Predictors of Psychological Well-Being among Survivors of the Holocaust

  • Boaz Kahana
  • Zev Harel
  • Eva Kahana
Part of the The Springer Series on Stress and Coping book series (SSSO)


In this chapter, findings from empirical research on predictors of mental health in three populations of Holocaust survivors are reviewed and discussed. Earlier perspectives on the effects of the Holocaust have been based almost exclusively on generalizations derived from clinical studies anchored in the medical psychiatric tradition. More recent views on the long-range effects of the Holocaust have begun to rely on findings from more systematic studies of Holocaust survivors that employed conceptual approaches anchored in the social and behavioral sciences. This chapter provides converging evidence from three studies of survivor populations concerning the effects of extreme stress on psychological well-being in late life. It substantiates the importance of poststress factors for the mental health of aging survivors of the Holocaust. More specifically, findings from these studies suggest that adequate health, higher levels of economic resources and social resources, along with type of coping and self-disclosure are important determinants of mental health among survivors of extreme stress. It is important, therefore, that mental health professionals acquaint themselves with the empirical evidence from more recent research so as to better understand the experiences and service needs of survivors of extreme stress.


Negative Affect Positive Affect Holocaust Survivor Affect Balance Emotional Coping 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Boaz Kahana
    • 1
  • Zev Harel
    • 2
  • Eva Kahana
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCleveland State UniversityClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Center on Applied Gerontological Research, Department of Social ServiceCleveland State UniversityClevelandUSA
  3. 3.Elderly Care Research Center, Department of SociologyCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

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