Jewish Family Service (JFS) of Los Angeles and the USC Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging invited members of the academic and service provider communities in Los Angeles to a symposium on intergenerational transmission of trauma for survivors of genocide.
The symposium highlighted survivors of the Holocaust, as well as survivors of the Armenian genocide. The symposium presented tangible ways to assist succeeding generations of those affected by the historical trauma.
According to keynote speaker, Natan P.F. Kellermann, PhD, “…trauma transmission is caused by a complex of multiple related factors, including biological predisposition, individual developmental history, family influences and social situation.” In short, not only is trauma passed down through family interactions but also by the transfer of DNA altered during the trauma process. This is true of Holocaust survivors and the generations following the Armenian genocide.
The symposium focused on some of the issues common to survivor populations, including:
- Factors that enable or impede the transmission of trauma;
- Post trauma adaptation styles that protect or contribute to a legacy of trauma for second and third generation members;
- Cross cultural differences in adaptation styles;
- Interruption of intergenerational transmission of trauma
- Trauma-informed and trauma-specific training for service providers of survivors of extreme trauma and their families.