Given Up by Parents for Survival: Separation Narratives by Formerly Persecuted Elderly Belgian Jews
Theories of psychological trauma have suggested that trauma narratives are fragmented, lack emotion and cognitive terms (narrative evaluation), and show linguistic indicators of reliving (narrative immersion). We tested the relation between narrative evaluation and immersion on the one hand with PTSD symptoms (Impact of Event Scale – Revised) and remembered dangerous/frightening qualities of the experience on the other hand. A sample of 26 elderly Belgian Jews narrated their lives. As children they had been separated from their families to be hidden and saved from Nazi persecution. We analyzed sections of their narratives regarding separation from parents. PTSD symptoms correlated only with a lack of positive evaluations, and narrative immersion correlated with the scariness/dangerousness of the original events. We suggest that the emotional quality of memories is sufficient to predict narrative qualities that signal reliving, but that the lack of positive emotions is specific to the presence of PTSD symptoms.
Ageing and the Elderly Holocaust Survivors Memory Mental Health Trauma Main Topic: Holocaust and Memorial
Link to article (paywalled), Given Up by Parents for Survival: Separation Narratives by Formerly Persecuted Elderly Belgian Jews
Given Up by Parents for Survival: Separation Narratives by Formerly Persecuted Elderly Belgian Jews. 2017: 74-81. https://archive.jpr.org.uk/10.1016/j.jarmac.2016.07.015