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[Intergenerational transmission of trauma--empirical research and family dynamics approach].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Abteilung für Psychosomatische Medizin und Psychotherapie, Universität Göttingen. verena.kluetsch@med.uni-goettingen.de


A tendency to pass on traumatic experiences from one generation to the next can be observed in family systems. This continuity manifests itself very differently, e. g. in posttraumatic stress disorders, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, aggressive behavior, social withdrawal or health risk behaviors in the second or third generation. Besides physiological mechanisms (e. g. levels of cortisol) psychosocial "mediators" as attachment security, emotional regulation and availability, parenting style as well as family dynamic processes like family secrets, communication deviances and resulting disturbances of mentalization, disturbances of interpersonal boundaries, conflicts of loyalty and delegation are of relevance. A case example and considerations of resilience processes are given as well.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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