Emotional ratings of anchor periods in life and their relation to subjective well-being among Holocaust survivors

  • Cohen K
  • Shmotkin D
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Abstract

This work examines happiness and suffering ratings of anchor periods (i.e., outstandingly meaningful life periods) among Holocaust survivors and comparison groups, and the relations of these ratings to present subjective well-being (SWB). The study included 360 participants, 141 of which were Holocaust survivors. Results showed that Holocaust survivors reported significantly lower happiness in their anchor periods than the comparison groups. Happiness and suffering in Holocaust periods (i.e., anchor periods during the Holocaust), when juxtaposed with happiness and suffering in non-Holocaust anchor periods (i.e., anchor periods which occurred before or after the Holocaust), significantly related to the survivors' present happiness and suffering. The results support an experience-specific view of emotionality as a factor in a lifelong coping with past traumatic events. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Anchor periods
  • Emotionality
  • Holocaust survivors
  • Subjective well-being

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Authors

  • Keren Cohen

  • Dov Shmotkin

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