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Transgenerational Transmission of Trauma

Transgenerational trauma transmission is a relatively recent focus within the field of traumatic stress. The transgenerational process is viewed through a social-work, family-systems perspective that suggests what happens in one generation will affect the next. Transgenerational trauma transmission suggests contagion, repeated and observable patterns within the family. These patterns of trauma-induced behaviors theoretically explain roles and values adopted by family members as well as sources of vulnerability and resilience. This entry reviews the background and models of transgenerational transmission of trauma.

This phenomenon was first observed by trauma-focused therapists who were concerned about the number of children descended from survivors of the Shoah, or Holocaust, in Canada, the United States, and Israel far removed from the concentration camps and Nazi persecution. Additional research from the human ...

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