Childhood Experiences of Anti-Semitism in Argentina (1976-1983): Stories of Trauma, Resilience, and Long-Term Outcome

Sigalit Gal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Limited knowledge exists on the manifestation of anti-Semitism in Argentina during the military dictatorship (1976-1983) and specifically on its long-term impact on mental health. This chapter explores this topic by looking at the behavioral and emotional reactions of adult Jewish immigrants to Israel, who experienced the military dictatorship in Argentina as children. The conceptual framework of the study has drawn upon trauma theory, Simich and Beiser’s paradigm of “resettlement and mental health, " and the variety of possible long-term negative and positive mental health outcomes after experiencing childhood traumatic stress. While interviewing 15 participants, the narrative approach method and observations were applied, and the thematic textual analysis of these interviews was centered on the behavioral and emotional manifestations of these immigrants’ past experiences in their current lives, as adult immigrants in Israel. Findings revealed that participants were exposed to severe manifestations of anti-Semitism during their childhood and that their present-day experiences include a variety of both negative and positive long-term emotional and behavioral reactions. These results are in parallel with other studies (such as studies on child Holocaust survivors), which confirm the co-existence of negative and positive long-term outcomes in the context of childhood political trauma.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnti-Semitism and Psychiatry
Subtitle of host publicationRecognition, Prevention, and Interventions
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783030377458
ISBN (Print)9783030377441
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-Semitism
  • Argentina
  • Childhood trauma
  • Complex PTSD, resilience
  • Immigration
  • Israel
  • Post-traumatic growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Social Sciences


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