Individual Differences in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptom Profiles in Holocaust Survivors in Concentration Camps or in Hiding

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Symptom patterns were compared between Holocaust survivors in concentration camp (n = 70) and those who were in “hiding” (n = 30) during the war. The impact of age at the time of the trauma, gender, and cumulative lifetime stress, and the effect of each of these variables controlling for the others, on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms were also evaluated. A significant negative relationship between age at the time of the trauma and symptoms of psychogenic amnesia, hypervigilence and emotional detachment, and a positive correlation between age and intrusive thoughts, were observed. Cumulative lifetime stress was positively associated with symptoms of avoidance. The study provides the first empirical data regarding the factors that potentially explain individual differences in PTSD symptom patterns in Holocaust survivors.

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