ERIC Number: ED264460
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
The Aged Samaritan: Heroes of the Holocaust Forty Years Later.
Midlarsky, Elizabeth; Oliner, Samuel P.
Recent research indicates that helping others is associated with competence, personal control, and a sense of well-being and that the elderly often express altruistic attitudes and help others. The current period, 40 years after the termination of World War II, presents a final opportunity to study those individuals who had engaged in extreme self-sacrifice earlier in their lives, and to investigate the impact of heroic behavior on well-being during the later years. A theoretical model depicting causal links among antecedents, heroic behaviors and outcomes is hypothesized. The proposed set of relationships is based on concepts derived from theories of the reciprocal nature of social interaction, competence theory, and distinctions drawn between a primary reliance on situational factors versus internalized motives as determinants of heroic actions. Authenticated rescuers, persons engaged in general resistance activities, and persons neither engaged in rescue nor resistance activities, all of whom lived in Europe during the Holocaust, were interviewed to test the hypothesis. Results revealed that authenticated rescuers engaged in a greater variety of helping activities compared with others. Preliminary findings offer additional support for the model which predicts that the competent rescuer would experience an increased sense of efficacy into old age. Statistical analysis will be performed later. (Author/ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A