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Title: Living, reflecting, feeling: Exploring the transgenerational transmission of the Greek civil experience to the second generation
Other Titles: Transgenerational experience of Greek Civil War
Authors: Papasavva, Vasiliki L.
Keywords: Interpretative phenomenological analysis
Coping mechanisms
Greek Civil War
Hermeneutics of faith
Qualitative research
Transgenerational transmission
Cultural trauma
Issue Date: 2016
Abstract: The Greek Civil War has been a traumatic event for the Greek society, with various reverberations. This exploratory, preliminary qualitative study seeks to examine the psychological impact of the Greek Civil War on the offspring of the Greek Civil War generation. Prior research studies on the transgenerational dimension of the Greek Civil War have focused on cultural trauma, collective memory, construction of political and social identity. This research addressed the inner experience of the second generation in the family, the meaning- which they ascribed to their parents’ experiences- and the way they dealt with their legacy. It also explored whether transgenerational trauma was present. Due to the lack of evidence, the rationale of this study, regarding the transgenerational approach was based on the extensive research of the Holocaust survivor’s offspring. The study explored the psychological impact of the Greek Civil War on the second generation, through conducting semi-structured interviews with four participants, by either side of the political spectrum. The sampling was purposive. Methodologically, the study utilized interpretative phenomenological analysis, informed by the principles of the hermeneutics of faith. The analysis exhibited five major themes. It provided indications that the Civil War affected the families, as well as the formation of the participants’ self-identity, as it was expressed regardless their political ideology. The overall analysis of the data provided a mixed image of positive and negative transmissions, along with adaptive and maladaptive mechanisms of coping. Only one participant indicated signs of clinical traumatization. Demographics, different parental experiences, communication style in the family, transmission of difficult information, family and social support, as well as adaptive and maladaptive coping mechanisms constitute factors that have influenced the degree of the impact of the Civil War in the course of the informants’ lives.
Appears in Collections:Program in Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy

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