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Unpublished Paper
Exploring Long-Term Impact of Mass Trauma on Physical Health, Coping, and Meaning: An Examination of the Ottoman Turkish Genocide of the Armenians
ExpressO (2008)
  • Ani Kalayjian, Fordham University
  • Nicole Moore, Fordham University
  • Chris Aberson, Humboldt State University
Abstract
Throughout the 20th century, genocide has claimed many lives across the world. Government genocidal policies alone have resulted in over 210 million deaths. Approximately nine decades ago, under the cover of World War I, Turkish armed forces moved to exterminate Turkey’s Armenian population. The present study focuses on how Armenian survivors dealt with the Genocide, what gave them the strength to cope, their level of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the extent of physical symptomatology, and meanings associated with the trauma, as manifested in selected aspects of survival accounts from 16 Armenian Americans (born before 1917) who had witnessed the Ottoman Turkish Genocide of the Armenians. Preliminary findings indicate that although these survivors had adjusted and prospered in the American life, some levels of PTSD persisted. Those who found a positive meaning in their experiences have coped better, and their level of PTSD and physical symptomatology was lower. This research venture is a follow-up to the study in which Armenian survivors’ coping styles and patterns were examined after eight decades. The study revealed that these aged survivors reflected a sense of accomplishment tempered with anger about the perpetrators’ denial of how they were victimized.
Keywords
  • Human rights violations in the aged,
  • Coping with Genocide,
  • Long term impact of Genocide,
  • Gerontology and trauma,
  • Denial of Genocide,
  • Meaning-making,
  • Long-term PTSD,
  • Armenian-American,
  • New York Tri-State,
  • Ottoman Empire
Disciplines
Publication Date
September 28, 2008
Citation Information
Ani Kalayjian, Nicole Moore and Chris Aberson. "Exploring Long-Term Impact of Mass Trauma on Physical Health, Coping, and Meaning: An Examination of the Ottoman Turkish Genocide of the Armenians" ExpressO (2008)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/ani_kalayjian/1/