What is Intergenerational Trauma?

What is Intergenerational Trauma?

Intergenerational trauma refers to the transmission of the negative effects of trauma from one generation to another. This type of trauma can be caused by a variety of factors, including war, natural disasters, abuse, racism, and discrimination, among others. The trauma experienced by one generation can impact the mental and physical health, as well as the behavior, of their children and future generations.

For example, children of Holocaust survivors may experience symptoms of trauma, such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD, even if they themselves did not directly experience the trauma. Similarly, the children of parents who experienced discrimination or racism may also be affected by the trauma their parents experienced.

Intergenerational trauma can be perpetuated through a variety of mechanisms, including learned behavior, family dynamics, and cultural beliefs. However, it is important to note that not all children of traumatized individuals will necessarily experience intergenerational trauma, as individual resilience and other protective factors can also play a role.

Shervan K Shahhian

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