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Although the diagnosis of traumatic memory originated in the 19th century, the term intergenerational trauma was originally introduced to describe the persistent trauma among Holocaust survivors and their families following World War II. The term, also referred to as historical trauma, has since been applied to many indigenous groups who have experienced widespread trauma exposure due to colonization and cultural genocide. Although there is little empirical research documenting this phenomenon, scholars continue to apply the concept as an explanation for current group-based health disparities. There has also been a recent focus on the resilience of survivors of intergenerational trauma, which provides a more balanced theoretical approach. This entry defines the distinct characteristics of intergenerational trauma, defines how trauma is transmitted across generations, and illustrates ...

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